NEW DELHI: Watching our Indian girls perform in the Olympic Games currently taking place in Rio, I am reminded of what Margaret Thatcher had said: “If you want something said, ask a man; but if you want something done, ask a woman.”

It is so true for a nation like ours. While many MCPs (Male Chauvinist Pigs) in this country scoff at 'Woman Power' time and again in every field... let me tell you... there is nothing quite like it and nothing compares to it when it is unleashed!!

I believe in 'Woman Power'... In spite of our crappy system, greedy politicians, lack of facilities and basic training equipment, Sindhu, Sakshi, Aditi and Dipa are bright stars at the Rio Olympics. Kudos is all that I can say!!

Believe you me; even if these girls hadn’t brought in any medals, I salute their strength, their fortitude and their perseverance in reaching where they are through sheer determination and will-power. They have done it all on their own, with absolutely no help from the government.

A population of 1.3 billion people and we have nothing much to show other than shabby infrastructures, poor sports administrators, lack of basic facilities and equipment, and greedy politicians sucking every single pie for their own selfish gains. Isn’t it a mockery of our system?

I have said this earlier and I am saying it again: It is high time we have eminent sports persons as sports ministers and administrators to manage the whole show rather than dim-witted politicians.

On one hand the sports department has failed to even provide basic amenities to the players at the grassroots level with no decent procurement of basic items like equipment and outfits for god knows how many years. On the other hand we have sports ministers spending lakhs of rupees to visit Rio for fun and frolic and well, let’s face it… Ogling!

The ministers and their cronies making a bee-line for Rio are clueless about the events taking place or the names of the sportspersons representing their country but yes, they definitely have a ‘to-do’ list of all the happening places to see there! Isn’t this enough as a wakeup call to all of us in general as we are also responsible in allowing these shenanigans to go on?

I hope that the feats of these young Indian girls in Rio will now encourage other youngsters to take up sports in a big way. Sadly sports are simply not given the importance it deserves. We support literature, dance, music… But when it comes to sports, we think it is a frivolous activity.

Parents push their children to excel in academia but not to take up sports as a career option. Most parents would say, “How will you support yourself?” And here in lies the problem. It is a Catch 22 situation as we haven’t allowed sports to develop in that manner that it stands tall as a career path. There are too many loopholes…too many pitfalls. Change can only happen when we allow sports to hold a rightful place in our society and culture.

Gradually things are changing…albeit slowly but yes there is change. The positive indicator is that conservative families are allowing their girls to take up sports that primarily were held by the male bastion. Yes, let us accept the fact that a huge chunk of men in this country have a problem with women doing well and shining in various fields. This insecurity has led them to always trying to subjugate women. But the strength of a woman cannot be crushed and so it overpowers tradition and rituals and comes shining through.

I see this ugly form of belittling a woman in every corner of this country. Women here have to keep fighting for their rights and also proving their mettle especially since a ‘male’ dominated society exists in our nation. It’s changing and changing for the better. But I think my Grandparent’s generation was more forward in their thinking than some of the ‘so called’ intellectuals today.

Unfortunately, traditional roles for men and women in most cultures have relegated women to working in the home primarily. This is paired with the societal expectation of the woman to take care of the home and family, and with that the lack of male support in the caretaking of the home. But yes, it is slowly taking a change for the better and how.

Interesting how the ‘girl child’ who is often looked down as a curse in many families is now salvaging India’s pride and image at the Rio Olympics. We as Indians need to salute the spirit of these young girls bringing glory to their country. They have proved yet again that with hard work, nothing is impossible. They have also in the bargain shut up the ‘twits’ on twitter who have nothing better to do than mock at our sportspersons or comment on their performance while languishing around as ‘couch potatoes’ and exhibiting their ‘unsmart’ thinking through their smart phones!

I hope the government wakes up now and does a rethink on how the sports fraternity and management have to be handled. Otherwise all that immense talent that we have will again go to waste and down the drain.