Sports for Girls:
A unique programme entitled “Sports for Girls: Confidence-Building and Increasing the Value of girl Children in 5 districts in Haryana” had been initiated in the year 2017-2018 by CSR with support from the Australian High Commission, New Delhi, India. The programme areas were Ambala, Kurukshetra, Gurugram,Jhajjar and Mahendragarh districts of Haryana.This is a step towards achieving gender equality by sensitizing communities towards merit of sports for girls. Such sports programs also promote social and leadership aspects of the participants by changing the socio-economic value of girl children. The key to our approach is making girls economically worthy for the family and the community at large, which will help in building acceptability for them as a long term goal under ‘BetiBachaoBetiPadhao (BBBP)’ project. The Project Launch event was conducted at the Sector 42 Chandigarh Hockey Stadium in the presence of many sports luminaries and Mr. Chris, Deputy High Commissioner, Australian High Commission Mr. Chris, Deputy High Commissioner, Australian High Commission.We have been able to successfully address discrimination against girls and women in accessing sports facilities in the targeted districts.SinceJune 2019, CSR has been implementing the Phase-2 of the programme; “Sports for Empowering Girls in 5 Gender-Critical Districts of Haryana” in the above-mentioned 5 districts supported by the Australian High Commission in New Delhi.
Learn more about these two phases below!
GeetaPhogat; Commonwealth gold medalist wrestler said in an interview to The Guardian that “things are not going to change until Indian women, and their parents stop being afraid of what society will say.” The team took it as a challenge to change the rigid patriarchal mindsets in the rural parts of Haryana because sports should definitely not be seen as a gender-segregated activity.
Dr. Manasi Mishra, the Head of Research Knowledge and Management Department and the project Coordinator for ‘Sports for Girls’ has bravely worked for more than a decade at the grass root level to fight for the rights of women and girls of Haryana. Dr. Mishra with her field experience highlighted the importance of sports in the shaping of personalities of girls and their overall development with human values and team spirit. This programme is a step towards achieving it.
Ms. Monika during a sub-district level Volleyball match at Mehrampur, MahendragarhThe project was broadly divided into 3 stages; the first in which we conducted the scoping study and an enrollment drive to identify the number of girls enrolled in district and sub-district level athletics programs. In the second phase we conducted one sub-district and one district level match in each of the five selected districts. We chose the sports based on the survey results. Here, 100 socio-economically backward participants from the five districts were given a small scholarship amount of rupees 2000 each. In the last phase of the project we concluded by a District-level Workshop and Speaking Tour by National Champions; here we invited local women international players to motivate the participants and at the same time we made efforts to provide some sports equipment’s to the girls to persuade them to continue their practice.
Phase I of this project was successfully completed on the 15th of May 2018; however, the aspiration and dreams of those young Haryanvi girls still had a long way to go, so we kick-started Phase II with the observations and learnings of the first phase.
Key Achievements from Phase I
- Found several sports of interest in the 5 districts – volleyball, cycling, hockey, gymnastics, kabaddi, handball
- 294 girls enrolled in district and sub-district level sports programs , 264 participated in competitions
- Awareness generation through media coverage and networking with district authorities
- Increase in leadership spirit of participants
Key Learning Points from Phase I
- Low nutritional intake
- Resistance to mobility of girls
- More avenues needed for girls to showcase their sportsmanship
- Based on these learnings, we have started implementing Phase II, where we incorporated Nutritional Intake, as well as district and zonal level competitions for the girl participants.
This phase are to increase female enrolment in school and university sports programs, along with opportunities to compete at the inter-district level. Until now, we have finished conducting district-level competitions in varied sports in Mahendragarh, Jhajjar, and Gurugram, and are in the process of organizing the same in the remaining two districts. We are currently also in discussions to implement the nutritional intake aspect of this project as well, which is expected to be finalized in January, 2020. The tentative plan is to provide a fruit and milk to the participating girls.Moreover, after all the district-level competitions will be over, we will also be organizing zonal sports tournaments for the teams.
Our team headed forward with the motto of “Khelkudbanaesashktbetiya. Betiyabanaesashktdesh”; meaning ‘Sports will empower our daughters, Daughters will empower the nation!’ Through ‘Sports for Girls’, we aim to address discrimination against girls and women in accessing education and sports for holistic development of their personalities and economic empowerment. The young women participating in this project will build sportsmanship, confidence, and leadership skills, along with improving their health and physical fitness.
For further information:
Dr. Manasi Mishra
Head, Research & Knowledge Management
Centre for Social Research (CSR)
2, Nelson Mandela Marg,
Centre for Social Research (CSR)
An organisation for the women and girls of India
Tel: +91 (0)11 26899998
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