“Yeh toh ladki hai, zyada vazan nahi uthana chahiye”, “Ladki hokar ladko jaise sapne mat dekh”, “Periods mein zyada bhaag – daur karegi toh daag lag jayega”, “Log kya kahenge” – These are some of the very common but irritating comments every single female in India irrespective of caste, colour, creed, religion, status or region has to face everyday, every moment of her life. Right from how she will talk, look, think, what she will wear and even to the extend of how and what her health should be is decided by the society. A single apparent “false move” by her, and she is labelled a “kalmuhi”.
In this year’s Tokyo Olympics, a spirited young girl from Manipur was going against the traditional societal norms and training hard for the Summer Games, her event being Weightlifting. She had not one but multiple hurdles to topple. She had to fight the societies disgusting malpractice of gender discrimination, uplift expectations of the people who supported her and also most importantly overcome the nightmare she had undergone in the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Yes we are talking about our Silver Girl, Mirabai Chanu. For the time being from the Indian contingent, she has been the only one who has returned successful. But what makes her story even more inspirational is not only the fact that she extremely skillfully won her Silver, but the circumstances behind her Olympic glory, especially the tremendous physical pain she underwent the night before. Speaking about the night in the discussion, Sharma said, everything was going according to the plan; Chanu looked fine, she was lifting weight and was preparing for the mega event on Friday afternoon, a day before the competition. However, later on, the same day, she started feeling menstrual cramps, prompting the coaching staff to come up with the new plan.
Our preparation was solid, but a day before her final, she encountered these cramps in the lower abdomen. We weren’t expecting this,” Sharma said. Reminiscing the night, Chanu said that she was tense and later informed her coach. She also said that she wondering why it happening now, “so close to my medal match.” “There was doubt in my mind because your body starts reacting differently. But I kept my focus and stopped thinking about it later,” Chanu said, before adding that as an athlete she often faces such problems and they know how to handle it.
Let’s tell you that Chanu has done what every girl should do – give it back to discrimination. Chanu has shown that even on the 2nd day of your periods, the day considered to be the most painful for any female, you can do the unthinkable and achieve your goal. We salute Chanu’s bravery and urge Indian females to take this an inspiration to chase your dreams.