India’s sporting champions Sakshi Malik and Mary Kom were the cynosure of the #YoungMakers conference where they jointly hailed every woman who shatters the glass ceiling and surges to new heights. Bronze medal winner from Rio2016 Olympics, who broke India’s medal drought at the Olympic games, Malik was confident and said life had transformed post the win but she was heartened and hurt by how many girls come to her to request her for facilities. “Didi, please ek mat lagwa do.” (Didi, please organise a wrestling mat for practise).
Gaurav Kalra from ESPN sat with India’s finest athletes to discuss their new energies, their next big plans and efforts to help gender equality. “I congratulate Sakshi Malik for winning the bronze. Olympics is a big platform where most of the athletes wish to clinch a medal. Sakshi made us Indians proud,” Mary Kom proudly poured praises for Sakshi.
“Most of the girls don’t have a chance or support from family, especially in North. But when you do, make most of it,” Mary Kom said to a hall of roars.
When asked if Malik goes back to watch her winning moment she said, “I keep watching my winning bout again and again. Not satisfied yet. People love me wherever I go now, life has changed. An elated Sakshi said the first desire after winning was to run home and eat aloo paranthas.
Mary Kom and Sakshi Malik had a special moment when Kom told Sakshi, “May be your life has changed, but don’t let those moments change what you are truly.”
Sporting infrastructure was a big issue. Kom said her own academy in Manipur was set up before Kom was made a Rajya Sabha MP however she felt facilities needed to improve a lot and access to quality sporting facilities were entirely missing from India.
“I request government to provide good infrastructure to the women in rural areas who aspire to be in sports,” said Sakshi Malik. While Mary Kom added, “I will appeal to our government to a us with good coaches beside having made quality infrastructure.”
When Kalra asked Malik, which heroine she would like to portray her role if a film was made on her wrestling career, Malik was quick to pick Sonakshi Sinha. Mary Kom screen role was done by Priyanka Chopra.
HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar felicitated Rio Olympic bronze-medallist Sakshi Malik and the five-time world champion, Mary Kom. “Our young generation brings unorthodox thinking which bring the change, equals to growth,” said Mr Javadekar. “Youngsters are changing the rules of the game,” he added. “I believe in Quality,” he cheers on for the young makers for doing an amazing job. India can become prosperous only if we innovate. Youth will make NEW India.”