The movie ‘Chak De India’ which is probably one of the best made contemporary sports films in India has the Indian women hockey team as its protagonist. It showcases their journey and the hardships women go through in order to live the sporting life that they are passionate about. It is disheartening that the women aren’t treated as being equal to men and nor are they paid according to those standards. But the in real life, the situation seems not just disheartening but alarming.
As per a recent media report, despite the hard work and the dedication these women have for Hockey and the India, many of them are without jobs.
Savita Punia, who has been judged as the Goalkeeper of the Tournament was quoted by the Press Trust of India, "I have been trying for a job for last nine years. I was promised a job under the Haryana government’s ‘medal lao, naukri pao’ scheme, but I have only been given assurances by officers. I am 27 now and still depend on my father’s income. I am playing for my country for last nine years and every time after a win, I hope to get a job but nothing changes.”
According to Rani Rampal, who is the captain of the Indian women Hockey team, and has a job with the Sporting Authority of India, "The biggest challenge continues to be the lack of jobs for players in the team. There are lots of players in the team who don’t have jobs. The men’s team has many options, including jobs in banks, oil companies, etc. The same should be offered to women hockey players. I hope that they can also have a secure future and become financially stable.”
Though there has been a change in the mindset because the successive wins by the likes of PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and the Indian Women’s Cricket Team reaching the World Cup Final this year, and according to Rampal, “There’s definitely a change in the mindset which earlier used to be ladkiyaan kuch nahi kar sakti, unko sports mein nahi dalna chahiye (women can’t do anything, keep them out of sports)."