In this exchange of thoughts, wrestler Vinesh Phogat talks about mustering the courage to protest against WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh for allegations of sexual harassment of women wrestlers and lack of support from the sports community.
Sports minister and government are doing good for sports.
I agree that the discovery is good and the equipment have improved, but the respect for the athletes is the same in their eyes (as before). When we get medals, they get pictures clicked to show that they are proud of us but the reality is very different.
When other athletes raise their voices about trials etc., that’s good.
But women are targeted first when they speak out. They ask, how did we get the courage to speak out against the system?
They say something but they have something else in their heart and they show something completely different. It is the same as how we were treated before.
It was difficult to persuade the girls’ families, to persuade ourselves and those around us that we had begun this battle and we had to proceed. We were too frightened. We fear the police.On the primary day when we went to the police station with all the young ladies to record a complaint, we were so frightened of the police since we had never confronted them some time recently.
The ministry has asked them to give time and they will file an FIR based on their findings. They told us not to worry about anything and they would do everything. Now we feel we should file an FIR at that time and not wait.
In fact, we didn’t dare file an FIR because we were wondering what would happen and who we would have to explain to. Sometimes the media hurts the victim by asking questions about the facts and what evidence we have.