In a country where sporting victories are celebrated at a magnanimous level, where winning a gold medal calls for great fervor and celebration, sometimes the glitz and glamour of renowned sportspersons overshadow the remarkable achievements of new-age athletes who are still trying to make a mark in the field of sports.
The Indian women’s blind cricket team last week scripted history as they won a gold medal after defeating Australia in the rain-curtailed finals of the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) World Games 2023 on the back of their scintillating show in Birmingham.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated the Indian women’s blind cricket team for winning the gold at the Games.
“Kudos to the Indian women’s blind cricket team for winning the Gold at the IBSA World Games! A monumental achievement that exemplifies the indomitable spirit and talent of our sportswomen. India beams with pride,” PM Modi posted on social media platform X (formerly Twitter).
A day after the women’s blind cricket team scripted history, Neeraj Chopra clinched a gold medal at the World Athletics Championship 2023 in Budapest.
While the nation celebrated Neeraj Chopra’s win, the gold medal victory of the women’s blind cricket team remained unrecognized at the big stage signifying that not all gold medals are similar and equal in the eyes of the people.
Chopra’s feat in Budapest is indeed a commendable result which is based on relentless training, skill, and determination but winning a maiden final at the World Games is not a small achievement.
The Indian women’s blind cricket team has not only battled on the field but also off the field. Winning laurels for the country despite lacking resources and support, the Women In Blue just want a little recognition and help from concerned authorities.
“For me and my team, it is a big achievement as we won our maiden finals at the World Games in Birmingham. This gold medal win is very precious for us and we request everyone to support us,” the Indian women’s blind cricket team skipper, Varsha U told IANS.
“Neeraj Bhaiya (Chopra) has also won a gold medal and I’m very happy for him. I wish him all the best for the Paris Olympic Games. With support from the government, we can also continue to thrive just like we did last week. I would also like to thank Prime Minister Modi sir for his encouraging words,” she added.
The contrasting celebrations following the gold medal wins put blind cricket back to square one. Now it is our responsibility to ensure that their stories don’t remain unheard and the team continues to shine in further international events too.
“Being visually impaired we have to overcome a lot of challenges in sports hence we urge BCCI and the Government of India to support us. Yesterday was National Sports Day, I hope we as a team also get to attend the National Sports Day event next year,” Varsha signed off.