On 31st August 2017, CSR Team headed to Palra in Jhajjar District to collect data and do need assessment as a part of the scoping study of the project “Sports for Girls”. The reason CSR Team moved on to Palra, a small village was to learn what are the problems pertaining at the grass root level. Dr. Manasi Mishra in order to break the ice with the participants and their families, introduced the project and explained the importance of sports for girls. She highlighted the rich potential that the girls of Haryana behold.
Unlike other districts where economic background and poor facilities served as the only barriers, in Jhajjar, CSR Team learnt from the participants that socio-cultural factors played a role too. While their parents support them, the society criticizes them. According to them, a girl fits well only in the household and not playgrounds. The villagers find it inappropriate that girls practice along with the boys. There were plenty of girls present at the event, who left sports due to one such socio-economic factor.
Through the interaction with Mrs. Sharmila, Cycling Coach, CSR Team learnt that even the most capable female cycling athletes of the district couldn’t win or at times even participate because they lacked a professional cycle needed for the race. None of the girl cyclists owned a proper cycling suit or a helmet. Hence, they practice without the proper gears needed for cycling. The parents informed the CSR Team that they can only afford white canvas shoes for their daughters so that they can play, but not proper sports shoes.
Our team observed that in this district, the girls needed motivation and encouragement as well in addition to other necessary equipments to participate in sports. Since the majority of parents lack knowledge, they need to be mobilized too, to allow their daughters to pursue their dreams.