Section - I
The following is a diary entry of a schoolboy. He has written about the Indian Woman Cricketer Mithali Raj. The boy had written each day is a new beginning, meaning every day we see and learn different things. Every day has so much to teach us, and he said he had the best day at school that day. What happened on that day? Read on...
The boy loved cricket. When his teacher announced that they were going to learn about a cricketer that day, he started thinking about Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, and other male stars in the Indian cricket team. But to his surprise, his teacher started with the name Mithali Dorai Raj, an Indian cricketer and also the captain of the Indian Women's Cricket team. She had led the team for both test matches and One Day International (ODI) matches. The boy could not imagine that a woman could play cricket so well. He had never let his little sister play cricket with him. He would tell her that cricket was not for her and that she should play with girls only. He was surprised to know that Mithali started playing cricket when she was \(10\) years old and was selected for the team when she was \(17\) years old!
He learnt that Mithali lived in Hyderabad. He was very happy to know that her mother tongue was Tamil because he felt proud that she had been well-known, accepted and appreciated by all. She has scored maximum runs in the Women's International Cricket and the only woman to achieve the \(6000\)-run mark in ODI matches. She is also the first woman to score seven consecutive \(50\) runs in matches. She has been given the nickname "Tendulkar of Indian Women's Cricket". She is currently the highest run-scorer for India in all type of matches - test matches, ODI matches and T20 matches.
Mithali's comment to the nickname she had been given, was this — she said it was an honour to be compared with Sachin because she had not achieved even half of what Sachin has done for the country. On the other hand, she said being a woman cricketer, she wanted people to know her identity and did not want to be compared with male cricketers.
She had inspired many young minds. She had started playing cricket with her brother. When she was a small girl, she went with her father to the cricket ground where he practised cricket. She used to stand outside the ground and picked the ball every time it went to her. From that type of small start to her career, she has reached great heights today and has found a place for herself.
All of us think cricket is a sport meant for men. But she has broken the old thoughts and obstacles and proved that women also equal to men in every field. The Government of India has recognized her talent and awarded the prestigious Padma Shri Award.
One of her recent achievement of the Indian Women's team - Mithali and another lady Smriti Mandhana scored \(50's\) and India achieved the objective with ease and sailed to a comfortable nine-wicket victory over South Africa in the second Women's International, on \(23rd\) February \(2018\). Mithali stood and played defensively in that innings, and stood undefeated at \(76\) runs.
The boy finally wrote that he had been inspired by her so much that his attitude had changed and he will be happy when his little sister follows her passion.
To know more about Mithali, click here.
Section - II
Usha Rani is a police officer and a Kabaddi champion. She has come from a small town called Subedarpalaya in Yeshwantpur near Bengaluru, Karnataka. It was her mother's dream to become an athlete, but she could not achieve it. Usha Rani took the dream for herself, and she was determined to become an athlete. She practised kabaddi at the Kanteerava Stadium every day, regardless of the weather. When she was in school, she grew up watching others playing kabaddi at a club near her house. She also joined the club and started playing kabaddi with them. Soon, she began representing the country in the sub-junior category.
When she did not play kabaddi, she supported people at her home. She sold flowers for her daily expenses. She struggled throughout her life till she got a job as a police, in the Karnataka State Police Force. She was selected in the police force, in recognition of her talent in sports. It is to be noted that she was the youngest person in the Karnataka State Police women kabaddi team.
She won a gold medal in kabaddi when she was \(29\) years old. Raid in kabaddi is a main focal point. From that point, the raider touches the opponent - they can turn the whole winning point of the game. She was praised highly for her raiding skills in kabaddi.E. S. Sumanth, sports officer at Karnataka State Police Sports Promotion Board, has appreciated her — he said regardless of her job with  a good salary, Usha had participated in every national game without missing even a single game. She had been an expert - in leading the team, being a good raider and continuously playing an important role in the Indian Kabaddi team.
Usha Rani worked hard and practised daily to win the Gold medal at the Asian Games in \(2018\). She is a role model not only for her brothers and sisters but also for other sportspersons.
To know more about Usha Rani, click here.
Section - III
P.V. Sindhu is a badminton player. If we think of badminton, we immediately think of P.V. Sindhu. Her full name isPusarla Venkata Sindhu. Sindhu is among the two Indian badminton players who won the silver medals in the \(2017\) Olympics; the other one is Saina Nehwal, who won a bronze medal in \(2012\) Olympics. Sindhu became internationally famous when she entered the top \(20\) BFW (Badminton World Federation) in September \(2012\), when she was just \(17\) years old. She is one of the top \(5\) shuttle players in the women's singles category.
Sindhu started playing badminton when she was just eight years old. Her parents were professional volleyball players, but Sindhu chose badminton over volleyball because the success of Pullela Gopichand in \(2001\) All England Open Badminton Champion inspired her.
Sindhu learnt the basics of badminton from Mehboob Ali. She joined Pullela Gopichand's Badminton Academy later. A reporter from The Hindu, a leading newspaper, wrote the profile of Sindhu's career. It said, the fact she came to time to her coaching camps every day on time, after travelling \(56\) kilometres, from her house, shows her desire to be a good badminton player with all the hard work and dedication required for the sport. Gopichand also agreed and said the most impressive feature in Sindhu's game is her approach to the same and never giving up attitude.
Sindhu attended regular school till class \(9\), after that she continued with correspondence courses, due to her busy training classes and International tournaments. Correspondence courses means a course of study in which student and tutors communicate by post, and the student need not present physically in class. She has completed her Bachelor's degree in Commerce (B.Com.). She has managed her studies (academics) and sports (passion) equally well.
Sindhu won many awards and fame after she joined the Gopichand Academy. She has also obtained cash rewards for her contribution to the team. The Indian Government has recognized her talents and gave her the following awards:
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, the highest sporting honour of India (\(2016\)).
Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India (\(2015\)).
Arjuna Award (\(2013\)).
To know more about P.V. Sindhu, click here.