With the Tokyo Olympics around the corner and the country already in the ‘sports mode’, the Press Information Bureau (PIB) and Regional Outreach, Bureau (ROB) Chandigarh, today, organised a webinar on the topic “Women in Sports”. Eminent international sportspersons Dr. MP Ganesh, Olympian & former captain of Indian men’s hockey team and Ms. Anjum Chopra, former captain, Indian women’s cricket team were the guest speakers. Both the speakers are Padma Shree and Arjuna Awardees in their fields.
In her welcome address, Smt. Devpreet Singh, Additional Director General, PIB, Chandigarh lauded the stellar achievements of women sportspersons who have made the country proud by overcoming various obstacles that line the way.
Dr. Mullera Poovayya Ganesh was also coach of the Indian team and awarded the Arjuna Award in 1973 and the Padma Shri in 2020. Ms. Anjum Chopra is a cricket analyst and the first woman sportscaster on television in India. She received the Arjuna Award in 2007 and the Padma Shri in 2014, for her accomplishments.
In a gripping conversation, answering a question from the audience, Ms. Anjum said, “Everyone needs encouragement, be it a male or a female member. However, the world is different for a man and a woman. Sports are generally associated with the male gender. It is our generation which will change this perception.”
When asked which role viz. of an ace cricketer, an actor or a commentator brought her the most happiness, she was quick to respond “To earn and put on the India Blazer, was my greatest accolade”.
Image: Guest Speakers Dr. MP Ganesh & Ms. Anjum Chopra during the webinar
In the engaging discussion on hockey, Dr. MP Ganesh said, “India needs to play its own game. India should have its own national coaches for players to form a constant long-term playing strategy. There is no dearth of talent in India.” He also said that foreign coaches should only be called for short terms to resolve specific
He stressed that sports should be made a compulsory subject in the middle and high schools, as it will help India nurture a greater talent pool. When answering a question about involvement of sports persons in administration, Sh. MP Ganesh said, “Civil servants who are good in sports should be brought into sports administration and that too for long periods.”
Sh. Himanshu Pathak, Assistant Director, PIB Chandigarh moderated the session. The webinar was attended by students from various schools and colleges, coaches & trainee athletes from the regional centres of Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Ministry of Information & Broadcasting officials from the region.