“kabaddi,kabaddi, kabaddi ,kabaddi” a player runs from one team, slurring kabaddi ,kabaddi, cross a line , subjugates the player of another team, coach blows out whistle and in meanwhile that player runs back to his own sphere , that led to loud clapping and shouts in joyousness from other players watching the practice section in the sports department of The University of the Punjab.
Kabaddi is the most popular game of south Asia specifically Punjab but it gives the impression like it is not the usual part of the world. As far as women kabbadi is concerned, it makes quite hot news in our male leading society.
It is hard to accept in any male bigoted society that women are part of sports like kabaddi for the reason being our traditional and cultural norms keeps a great contrast for certain things. “But it was not something most of the kabaddi players had to fight for”, says Madiha latif, captain of Women kabaddi team. “Our families happily sent us across the border to represent our country.”
Asma akram says with a mile” “Even my uncle and father taught me some techniques”.
People even now are amazed to know that women could play a kabaddi knowing the fact that it is a sports fitting to men only? This approach is still for the reason being, people take it as a rural setting game with players wearing short kit clothes that might be inappropriate for women in Pakistan.
Madiha says “Though women kabaddi team is modestly dressed and there is no ground to criticize this game on the basis of costume. Moreover, such voices are becoming weak.”
She adds “I feel kabbadi symbolizes women empowerment and it is a big indicator of increasing gender equality. It should not be viewed as mere a sport because it is so courageous to step in yet another “men only” domain.
Women team consisting of eighteen members represented Pakistan in world cup 2013 and 2014. Interesting part is, players were not taken from kabaddi game, they were all taken from different games, some girls were taken from marshal arts as this game requires great amount of strength and energy.
Hafeez Bhatti, manager of kabaddi team says “we decided to jump in this venture when teams even from America and Europe joined this tournament. Similarly, we also felt that we are more close to this game in comparison to European countries”.
Upon asking hafiz about India’s team equipment he says “yes, because in India kabaddi is present at a grass root level. There, women kabaddi competitions are held at school and college level at regular basis. Our team is at nascent stage even though it has out- performed many others.”
smaira sattar is a teacher of physical education in Lahore college for women university, she also got a chance to manage the kabaddi team against India, she says “we did not have any issue during our visit to India. Obviously it was their home ground so we can’t expect spectators to be cheering for us. Above all, we enjoyed playing with all teams.”
Does playing kabaddi effects the health of a woman? There are chances of getting injured while playing any outdoor game, be it kabaddi or cricket etc. as wounds are part of game and life too. Some women get their collarbones fractured and have to get replaced so that team performs better.
Usually it is seen where there is game, there is politics too and women politics could get worse. But kabaddi players believe that they work as a team and would stand only against those who stand against Pakistan.
Things have started changing in Pakistan. Much importance is being given to gender equality now, which indeed a sign of good luck for women. “Women kabaddi team brought a new lease of life for our anachronistic society” says an aspiring kabaddi player.
The main question arises how kabaddi can be promoted in women? This can be achieved by promoting it in colleges, schools universities. Tournaments should be held on provisional and regional level to spread awareness. There is a lot of room for this game as it is already rooted in our culture so we do not need to familiarize it again. It is just the matter of cognizance.
Secondly Media is known to be the backbone of the society. People have started rely heavily on Media. It has the power to make a hero out of players. Media channels should widely promote it through by covering institutions matches. Only through honest and positive Media coverage, parents will encourage their daughters to join this any game.
The potential in women kabaddi team shows that they are not less than men and could survive in any game. “We will try our best in upcoming world cup. “Says Madiha Latif with determination. BY ASNA BATOOL