Tuesday, February 14, 2012

They just need a chance to perform

When Nepal won the semi-finals of the ACC U-19 Women’s Cricket Championship, the environment was festive in the small town of Lahan in Nepal. The locals lit lamps throughout the town to celebrate the victory. As the Nepali team won the finals, beating Thailand by six wickets, one of the last girls standing in the crease was Mamta Chaudhary from Lahan. She together with her Captain Rubina Chhetri scored 56 runs to hand the hat trick victory to Nepal. The joy of people from Lahan knew no bounds. The whole town and surrounding was drenched in the victory – made possible by five local girls, Kavita Gautam, Santoshi Chaudhary, Mamta Chaudhary, Anuradha Chaudhary and Saraswati Chaudhary. All five in a way or another contributed throughout the tournament to win the trophy for the third time in a row.

Out of the five, four Tharu girls come from the same village Singarahi near Lahan. Their parents broke the tradition of sending the girls to graze goats. Instead their parents were happy to send their daughters to school and let them play cricket which is still new for the girls in this part of Nepal. In the Terai, till this day the girls are awarded the duty to graze goats while boys are sent to school. In addition, the girls then have to complete all the domestic chores. “With the trend set by these local girls, the situation and thinking of the parents will change,” says Chandra Kishore Kalyan, the President of Tharu Welfare Society Siraha.

Overnight the girls have turned teen idols and national heroes. As reported by Bharat Jarghamagar in the Kathmandu Post daily, Ghuran Chaudhary, the proud father of Saraswati says, “She, not only remained my daughter, but became the daughter of whole country now.” They are famous not only in Singarahi village, Lahan and Siraha district from where they hail, but also throughout Nepal now. Tharus throughout Nepal are sending them compliments and best wishes for their future career.

Their exploits in Kuwait where the tournament was held, have not only inspired many young girls in the area to study and play, but have also influenced the parents to treat their daughters equally and provide them with equal opportunities as their sons.

The four girls have proved that given a chance, they can perform well at all levels. They have broken the shackles of belonging to a society which has always ignored their identity, belonging to a marginalised community that was always kept on margins by the state and being a girl who has always been disregarded by her parents. Kudos to the bravehearts!
Photo courtesy: The Kathmandu Post

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