The Women Who Punched Away Social Stereotypes

The Women Who Punched Away Social Stereotypes

Two girls from two states, two different backgrounds, but similar stories connected by place and time. The Istanbul podium was not only a dream destination for them, but also a vehicle for Nikita Zarrin and Manisha Maun to see how their society views them, their families and their sport.

“Before I got into boxing, I was an athlete – 100m / 200meters was my event. There were no proper coaches in this district. So my father had to train me. I trained at the Collector Ground. There were urban games going on. I saw girls in all sports except boxing. I asked my father – ‘Why aren’t there girls in boxing?’ Dad said that girls do boxing, but in our society they are considered weak. Girls can’t play contact games. I was stubborn since childhood, like Tom Boy. No one thought I was a girl. Took father’s statement as a challenge. I wanted to change the mindset of the society. “

Now there are many who follow in his footsteps. But in those days it was not easy to convince her mother that she was afraid of scars on her face which would disqualify her in the marriage market.

“After talking to my father, I started boxing. I was the first girl in the stadium to start this sport. My first javelin-throwing session was with a boy. He hit me hard. I was bleeding, I had wounds on my eye. I went home like this. When my mother saw me like this, she started crying and said, ‘I don’t want you to box and hit. If you are killed, you Who will marry? We have the responsibility of other daughters too. I told my mother not to stress, when I get the medal, the groom will be in line. “

And then comes a wisdom “Salman (Khan) is not married, maybe waiting for me,” A huge fan of the megastar who also received a congratulatory message from him.

Now, Nakht describes these early days of struggle with ease and joy. The world champion podium has given him strength, but courage, fortitude and courage were always there. He refused to wear a shalwar kameez under his school dress. Her father reacted by allowing his daughter to box in shorts.

Babli, 25, knows that society is listening to her and that she is a role model. She has her say on most things, including wearing a burqa – a topic of recent discussion.

Wearing hijab is their personal choice. I can’t comment on personal choices. I like the way I dress. My family doesn’t mind. My family doesn’t mind wearing these clothes. I don’t care what people say about me. If they want to wear hijab then it is their choice.

Even in the dark days of 2017 when she had shoulder surgery and the world said her career was over, or in 2019 when she was beaten and sent home by Meri Kom, Nakht remained her true self. Neither inferiority nor height affected the personality.

“I’m two different nails. Outside of the ring, I’m funny and cool, very talkative, who likes to eat good food, like shopping, clicking, taking pictures, making rails. Very quiet inside the ring And be composed – all the focus is on boxing – finally a Gemini – so they have two different personalities.

Manisha Moon and Nakhat Zareen are two different personalities who are tied to their favorite sport.

Manisha, who won a bronze medal at the World Championships, says, “I am very happy to have won a medal for India. Everyone struggles in life, I also struggled from the beginning. It was tough from the start. My father would not let me go. I used to sneak into the box. I would get home before Dad came back. When my medal came at the state level, my father saw it. And then he realized I had the potential. It didn’t stop me from boxing. He supported me as much as he could. He is a tractor mechanic. “

In Matur village in Kaithal district of Haryana, the family had the means of humility. A square meal was a long way off.

Manisha recalls, “The stadium was 10 kilometers away from my house. There was no car – it would go in both directions. I would like 2 loaves of bread and my favorite tea. This was my food all day. I will eat proper food at night. This was the time when we could not eat a square meal. Don’t know what an athlete’s diet is. I used to lose weight. I had to drink a lot of water to get the initial weight for boxing. Things have changed because of this medal.

The world of boxing has given him a name, fame and a family. The coach says that he has brought together girls from different backgrounds and temperaments.


If Mary Kom started the revolution, these girls are still sowing the seeds of aspirations in their community and village. As far as Mary is concerned, they will have a long way to go but neither Nakht nor Manisha want to be another Mary, instead they want their identity and more girls to participate in this game. Encourage

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