YouWeCan – Yuvraj Singh

Blog By : Ipsa Singh

“The harder the struggle, the more glorious the triumph.”

The world is full of unexpected surprises that often don’t turn out to be pleasant. There is an organisation that promises to try it’s best to take away the biggest fear of any individual’s life. “ CANCER. “  The foundation is full of life and kindness. You can even call it a lifeline, or to be specific , that’s – YouWeCan for you.

YouWeCan is Yuvraj Singh’s endeavor to combat cancer by spreading awareness about the disease and fighting the stigma attached to it. The national cricketer announced the launch of ‘YouWeCan’, an initiative by the Yuvraj Singh Foundation (YSF), in July 2012. The initiative focuses on all the aspects of the disease including the advantages of early detection. YouWeCan always comes up with interesting ways to educate people on cancer by organizing sports events and fairs and not restrict to seminars and lectures.

Yuvraj Singh is renowned cricketer, who now has turned into an inspiration for those who believe, that cancer is an end to life, for those who stop living life as soon as they get the news, for those who die even before they are dead.

Yuvraj Singh has proved with his battle against success that “It’s not over until it’s Over.”

The YouWeCan initiative was planted while Yuvraj Singh was still in the hospital. He shared his experience with the virtual world as he posted pictures of his treatment and the severe physical changes he was going through, sending one clear message: FIGHT.

YouWeCan focuses on every sector of cancer. Be it creating awareness about its symptoms and chemotherapy procedures or helping educate the kids who are cancer survivors. The organisation is a firm believer of

“Hope and faith may be more firmly built upon charity, than charity upon faith and hope” – Benjamin Franklin.

The foundation Create a conscious environment to fight cancer by inculcating a habit of regular cancer check-ups. To educate all the segments of society about the implications of the disease through affordable campaigns.

Yuvraj Singh Foundation is a non-profit organisation registered under the Bombay Public Trusts Act 1950 launched by Yuvraj Singh himself. The organisation is active since 2009 and working for three primary initiatives: Health, Education and Sports. YouWeCan is an effort to support and build awareness in their quest to conquer cancer. These grants will provide substantial funding of devices and adaptation of existing technologies for cancer awareness and detection in low and middle-income areas nationally.

The biggest and the most noted act of this organisation is to provide cancer patients with scholarships . This initiative aims to help the families that are facing a financial crisis due to the expensive and prolonged cancer treatment of their immediate family member by educating their children. This process started on august 7th , 2017.

The initiative taken by the foundation also helps in securing the future of the country as a whole. Youth of a country needs to be protected and cured in order to make a flourished country.

The foundation adheres by the saying, “ Cancer is only going to be a chapter in your life,not the whole story. “

 

The Inspiring Lady- Harmanpreet Kaur

Blog By : Ipsa Singh

“Leadership is not a position and a title. It is an action and an example.”

Harmanpreet Kaur Bhullar, born on 8 th march 1989, in Punjab, Is a part of established Indian
B women, India Green women, Punjab Women (India), Sydney Thunder. She is an all-
rounder cricketer.

She proves that, gone are the days when women were confined to certain petty
stereotypes. She has break through all these filthy holding back chains of the society and is
all set to inspire young women in border of her country and beyond. She is an extremely
extravagant example of perfection. She proves “Hamari chhori kisi chhore se kam nai.” She’s been excelling in her field like a pro. She is the lady hero with taking in her name the renowned and prestigious Arjuna Award, which adds up to explaining how focused she is.

She stands up holding this inspiratory position to so many young girls out there who are
afraid to step out, who are willing to fight against the odds put up by the society. She is that
individual along with her team who outstand the crumbling myth that women aren’t meant
for the physical work, or the field work, or any other manly work.

She is that magnificent lady who has proved that women can be heroines without makeup
and just by sweating it out, out on the fields. She’s defines and represents the potential of
Indian women internationally and stands up firm to first make her country and then her
family Proud.

She’s a path-breaker too, having become the first India cricketer – male or female – to sign a Big Bash League contract with Sydney Thunder in Australia. The deal came about on the back of an impressive showing during India's tour of Australia in January 2016, where she made a 31-ball 46 to script India’s highest-ever T20 chase. In June 2017, she became the first Indian to sign with Surrey Stars in ECB’s Kia Super League. Since then she has been at the center of advertisement campaigns, endorsements and central contracts.

She swears by her idol Virender Sehwag’s mantra of ‘see ball, hit ball.’ She represents the
new-age Indian women's cricket part of a generation. Harmanpreet broke through in 2009, but it wasn’t until 2013 when she stamped her class. Her century against England at the World Cup, albeit in a losing cause, earned her plaudits from opposition captain Charlotte Edwards. Her career graph since has skyrocketed since. In April 2013, she was handed the captaincy when Mithali Raj was rested for the limited-overs series against Bangladesh, making it clear that she is the one in waiting for the job. In November 2016, she replaced Raj as captain of the T20 team for the series against West Indies.

Punjab had offered the DSP post to her in July last following her outstanding performance in
the Women’s World Cup 2017. She yet again defies yet another saying, “not all heroes wear
capes, some where the colour of their country and uniforms too.”
She in true terms inspiring what is known as the better half of creation, “WOMEN.”

 

 

 

 

Aparna Popat : The Winner of Senior Nationals for 9 years in a row

Blog by : Anuradha Guha

Aparna Popat is an Indian ex-badminton player. She was born in Mumbai on 18th January,1978. Her parents were Lalji Popat and Heena Popat. She finished her schooling in J.B. Petit High School and pre-university course in Mount Carmel College, Bangalore. She got a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the Mumbai University.  

Anil Pradhan, a National Champion, was the first to recognize the spark of talent in the 8-yr old Aparna. He was approached by her parents for her training. She started playing from 1986. She was taught many essential skills under his tutelage.  

To further expand her capabilities, she shifted to the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy, Bangalore in 1994. Here, she received training under the acclaimed badminton player, Prakash Padukone himself. To enrich her experience further, she shifted to the Sports Authority of India training center at Kengeri, Bangalore. Here, Gangula Prasad was the coach and mentor.  

In 1997, Aparna won her first Senior National title, in Hyderabad. In 1998, she was the winner of the French Open. Also in the same year, she won a silver medal for her performance in the Commonwealth Games held in Kuala Lampur. Aparna went on to win the Senior Nationals for 8 consecutive years. She won her last Senior Nationals in 2006 in Bangalore after defeating 15-year old Saina Nehwal.  

Aparna Popat won the ‘Arjuna Award’ in 2005. Despite facing many hurdles in her career, she made a place for herself in the sports field by sheer determination and courage. Hers, is an inspiring story.  

Aparna was one of the 17 participants to be selected, and the only Indian at that, to be chosen for the Global Sports Mentoring Program, an initiative taken by Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State and espnW. This programe was undertakes by her with vision of empowering women and girls throughout the world.  

The highlights of Aparna Popat’s achievements are- Participation in 2 Olympic Games, 1 Asian Games, 1 Silver medal at the World Junior Championships in 1996 and 4 medals in the 3 Commonwealth Games appearances. She was quoted saying the following about the Commonwealth Games- “The Commonwealth Games mixed doubles is challenging because \Great Britain has a strong team. So mixed doubles will be a little dicey, but I believe we have a shot a Gold Medal across five categories. 

Popat’s career was greatly influenced by the co9ntribution of her coaches. When her first coach, Anil Pradhan saw her play, he told her parents-“Give me this girl to train and I will put her on the map of India.” Popats also advises parents to trust their children’s coaches. She says- “It is important to trust coaches and their plans. Any negative comments on the coach or the politics of the sport in the child’s presence may have an adverse effect on his or her growth.” She also highlights the important role parents play in their children’s lives. She was quoted saying- “What parents say touches a chord with kids, which is why you have to choose your words carefully while communicating with children.” 

 

Anju Bobby George : An Inspiration

Blog by : Anuradha Guha

 

Anju Bobby George is an Indian Athlete. She specializes in Long Jump. 

Anju was born on 19th April, 1977 in a Syrian Orthodox Family in Kerala. Anju’s father was a sports enthusiast and he was quick to recognize the talent in his daughter. He was the one to initiate her into the world of sports. She completed her schooling in CKM Kothrude School and graduated from Vimala College. Her talent came to special notice in the national school games when she won third place in 100m hurdles and 4*100m relay. 

Anju started her career with Heptathlon, but she started focusing on her Long Jumps when she recognized her natural aptitude in that field. The turning point in Anju’s career came when she was married to her husband and coach, Robert Bobby George.  

In 1995, Anju set the national record for triple jump in the Bangalore Federation Cup. In 2001, she broke her own record of long jump in The National Circuit Meet in Thiruvananthapuram.  

Anju jumped to fame in 2003 when she won the bronze medal in Long Jump at the 2003  World Championships in Athletics in Paris, becoming the first Indian athlete to even win a bronze in World Championship in Athletics. Anju reached her personal best at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. In 2005, she won Gold Medal both in the 16th Asiatic Athletic Championships and the IAAF World Athletics Final.  

Anju was awarded the coveted ‘Arjuna Award’ in 2002-2003. She also received the ‘Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award’ in 2003-2004 for her achievements in the World Championship in Athletics and the Padma Shri, India’s one of the highest civilian awards. 

Anju Bobby, though no longer a player, in an earlier interview, expressed her sadness that a good coaching and management system is absent in India to support young emerging Long Jump players reach their full potential.  

She still maintains a strict daily regime. She wakes up at 5.30 a.m. and goes to ground. Having been an athlete, this has been her routine for more than 20 years. She does a few different varities of cardio exercises. Her entire morning schedule in gym consists of about 2 hours. When she trains actively, she usually takes a health drink, but most of the times it is just plain water.  

Breakfast is an important meal for her. She recommends eating all types and kinds of food-in certified proportions. But she absolutely avoids any sort of junk food or food that contains oil or grease. Diet according to her consists of a meal containing huge quantities of fruits and vegetables. As an athlete, it is important to take care of her mental health as well as her physical health. In order to keep herself mentally fit and in a healthy conditions, she goes on walks, or talk to people.  

One of her deepest regrets is the lack of supportive management in India for players. She was quoted saying- “Athletics, as you all know, is the mother of all sports. We have to really work hard. There are a lot of things involved. We need real talent and real support and competitive management is where we are lacking.” 

She is an inspiration to many and one of the leading athletes of India. 

Anjali Bhagwat : The Girl Who Never Misses

Blog by : Anuradha Guha

Anjali Bhagwat, or Anjali Ramakantha Vedpathak is an Indian shooter, popularly heralded as ‘The Girl Who Never Misses’. She earned the epithet of World Number One in 10m Air Rifle in 2002.

Anjali was born in a simple Marathi family in Mumbai. From a very young age, she was deeply inspired by the famous athlete, Carl Lewis. She came across shooting as a cadet in the National Cadet Corps (NCC). After finishing her schooling, she enrolled in the Kirti College in Mumbai simple because of it’s short distance to NCC. As a part of her activities she got into the Maharashtra Rifle Association (MRA) and started shooting at the age of 21.

Her first coach was Sanjiv Chakravarti and she gives him the credit for her strong beliefs and determination, instilled over a period of 5 years. She first participated in the National Championships in 1988 and won a silver medal for her state. Her first participation in an international event was in 1995 in the SAF games. She is the only woman to have won a World Cup for India.
In 1999 she started training under the Hungarian coach, Laszlo Szucsak. Both of her coaches contributed a lot in shaping her as a sportswoman but they were also in awe of Anjali’s seamless execution of their instructions in the field.
In 2000, Anjali became the 2nd Indian woman to reach the final Olympics, the first being P.T.Usha. She also received the silver medal at the World Cup finals held in Munich. In 2002, she was ranked the number one player in the world. Throughout the duration of 1998-2001 , Anjali won four gold medals in the Commonwealth Games.

Anjali Bhagwat was the face of women’s shooting in India. As a woman, it wasn’t easy for her achieve her dreams, but she persisted in her life with will and determination, striving to make her dreams come true. In our country, women are seldom encourage to play sports, leave alone take it up as a career option. But she did so, and went on to become of the most successful players of India, making her country proud.
Anjali was a believer in hard work. She herself said that while shooting, she forgot everything else in the world. She was quoted saying- “At the international level, every shooter has their own coach, psychologist and manager, who takes care of every player’s needs. This helps the player move forward. Since we do not get any such facility, our success is more delightful.”
She also was a firm believer in having control over your mind, even in the most stressful of situations. She said- “Only those who handle the pressure well , will make their talent count.”
Anjali received the ‘Arjuna Award’ in a 2000 and the ‘Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award’ in 2003 for her performance in the Commonwealth Games in 2002.
Anjali worked hard for her success and is an inspiration to all the women of India that if they have the talent, and the courage to pursue it, they too can get their dreams.

Neeraj Chopra : The Champion

Blog By Khushboo Kothari 

Neeraj Chopra (born 24 December 1997) is an Indian track and field athlete competing in the javelin throw. He won a gold medal in 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland. He also set a world junior record.

He had won the gold medal at the 2016 South Asian Games with a throw of 82.23 m, which equalled the Indian national record. Despite these performances, he failed to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics as the cut off date was 11 July. He is from the Khandra Village, Panipat, Haryana in India. He is currently coached by Garry Calvert. Neeraj won gold medal in Asian Athletic championships 2017 with a throw of 85.23 meters.

Neeraj Chopra registered a season best effort of 86.47 meters in men’s javelin throw at 2018 Commonwealth Games (CWG). With that, Chopra not only joined an elite list of Indian athletes to win a gold medal on their Commonwealth Games debut, but also became the first Indian to triumph in Javelin Throw at CWG.download (1)

 

Vinesh Phogat : The Wrestler

Blog By Khushboo Kothari

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Vinesh Phogat (born 25 August 1994) is an Indian wrestler who comes from a successful background of wrestling with her cousins Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari, both international wrestlers and Commonwealth Games medalists as well.

Vinesh is the daughter of wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat’s younger brother Rajpal and the cousin of wrestlers Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari. Both her cousins have won gold in 55kg category in Commonwealth Games.

In allowing her cousins and herself to pursue competitive wrestling, her father and uncle had to deal with immense pressure and opposition from the community in their village in Haryana. They were adjudged as going against the morals and values of their community. Her cousin, Ritu Phogat, too is an international level wrestler and has won a gold medal at the 2016 Commonwealth Wrestling Championship.

2013 Asian wrestling champions ,in the tournament in New Delhi, India, Vinesh won the bronze medal in the women’s freestyle 51 kg category, winning 3:0 in the bronze medal bout through the repechage round to Tho-Kaew Sriprapa of Thailand.

In the first round, Vinesh won 3:1 against Nanami Irie of Japan. She then lost 1:3 in the quarter-finals to Tatyana Amanzhol of Kazakhstan who qualified for the final thus qualifying the Indian grappler for the repechage round.

2013 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships , in an exclusive tournament held in Johannesburg, South Africa, Vinesh finished second and won the silver medal in the women’s freestyle 51 kg category, losing in the final round to Odunayo Adekuoroye of Nigeria.

At the 2014 Commonwealth Games ,Vinesh represented India in the women’s freestyle 48 kg category at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and won the gold medal.In the quarter-finals, Vinesh faced Rosemary Nweke of Nigeria and beat her 5-0. Her semi-finals opponent was Jasmine Mian of Canada whom she beat 4-1. In the gold medal bout, she faced home favourite Yana Rattigan of England and won the gold medal, beating her 3-1.

At the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, Vinesh won the bronze medal in the women’s freestyle 48 kg category.

 

In the Round of 16, Vinesh faced Yongmi Pak from the People’s Republic of Korea and beat her 3:1. Her quarter-finals opponent was Dauletbike Yakhshimuratova of Uzbekistan whom she overcame easily with a 5:0 scoreline. She lost 1:3 in the semi-finals to Eri Tosaka of Japan but qualified for the bronze medal bout and beat Narangerel Eredenesukh of Mongolia to win 10-0 easily after referee stopped the bout (classification points 4:0).

At the 2015 Asian Championships in Doha, Phogat won the silver medal in her category after losing the final to Yuki Irie of Japan. In the qualifying tournament for the 2016 Rio Olympics held in Istanbul, she won in the final round beating Polish wrestler Iwona Matkowska, and qualified for the Olympics in the process.

At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Vinesh reached the Quarter Finals and lost to Sun Yanan of China owing to a knee injury.

2018 Gold Coast CommonWealth Games Vinesh Phogat won the gold medal in women’s 50kg freestyle wrestling at 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.

M.C. Mary Kom : The Real Hero Blog By :Khushboo Kothari

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Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte(born 24 November 1982), better known as Mary Kom,is an Indian Olympic boxer hailing from the Kom tribe in Manipur. She is a five-time World Amateur Boxing champion, and the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world  championships. Nicknamed “Magnificent Mary”, she is the only Indian woman boxer to have qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics, competing in the flyweight (51 kg) category and winning the bronze medal. She has also been ranked as No. 4 AIBA World Women’s Ranking Flyweight category.She became the first Indian woman boxer to get a Gold Medal in the Asian Games in 2014 in Incheon, South Korea. and is the first Indian Woman Boxer to win Gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

On 26 April 2016, Kom was nominated by the President of India as a member of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament.In March 2017, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India, appointed Mary Kom along with Akhil Kumar as national observers for boxing. Mary Kom won the Gold Medal In Asian Boxing Championship. She defeated Kim Hyang-mi of North Korea in the title match.

Kom was born in Kangthei village, Moirang Lamkhai in Churachandpur district of rural Manipur in eastern India. She came from a poor family. Her parents, Mangte Tonpa Kom and Mangte Akham Kom were tenant farmers who worked in jhum fields. They named her Chungneijang. Kom grew up in humble surroundings, helping her parents with farm related chores, going to school and learning athletics initially and later boxing simultaneously. Kom’s father was a keen wrestler in his younger days. She was the eldest of three children – she has a younger sister and brother.

Kom is married to the footballer Karung Onkholer (Onler). Kom first met her husband in 2000 after her luggage was stolen while travelling by train to Bangalore and thereafter to Delhi for a sports meet. In New Delhi while on her way to the National Games in Punjab she met Onkholer who was studying law at Delhi University. Onkholer was the president of the North East students body and helped Kom. Thus they became friends and thereafter started dating each other. After four years they were married in 2005. Together they have 3 sons: twins Rechungvar and Khupneivar (born in 2007),and son Prince (born in May 2013).

Her autobiography, Unbreakable, was co-authored by Dina Serto and published by Harper Collins in late 2013. In 2014, Priyanka Chopra played the main role of Mary Kom in Mary Kom, a biographical film about her life. Although the mother tongue of Mary is Kom, a Sino-Tibetan dialect, the movie is in Hindi.The movie is directed by Omung Kumar and was released on 5 September 2014.

Kom is an animal rights activist, and supporter of PETA India, starring in an ad to call for an end to the use of elephants in circuses. “Circuses are cruel places for animals where they are beaten and tortured. As a mother, I can imagine what animals go through when their children are taken away from them to forcefully perform in circuses. It’s sad,” Kom has been quoted in the media.”

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Laishram Sarita Devi: A Warrior

Blog by Raj Kishan..

There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. This is what our champion, Laisharam Sarita Devi teach us, we should have a backbone and stand our ground for what we believe in and against all unfairness.

Laisharam Sarita Devi! She is a mother, a champion boxer and guiding light to every woman. She is a warrior!

Sarita Devi, 36, is a champion Indian boxer from Manipur competing in the lightweight class. She was born in an agricultural family. Being sixth of eight siblings it wasn’t easy for her and her family. She completed her high school in Waithou Mapal high school till eighth and then went to Bal Baidya Mandir to complete her matriculation. She then attended open school for her +2 so that she could keep up with her busy boxing schedule. Being in an agricultural family, she used to help her parents collect firewood in her free time. Okay, so, now we know the secret behind her remarkable stamina.

She was highly inspired by Muhammad Ali, and he is the reason she started boxing. She turned professional in boxing in 2000. The following year she won silver in lightweight class at the Asian Championships 2001, Bangkok. Later, she won 4 gold Medals at Asian Championships; 2003 Hisar, 2005 Kaohsiung City, 2008 Guwahati, 2010 Atlanta. She has performed well at World Championships; 2005 Podolsk she won Bronze medal and then came the big one, she won gold medal at the 2006 World Championship. She won bronze medal at Asian Games Incheon, 2014 and silver at Commonwealth Games Glasgow, 2014. A long list of medals!

Sarita Devi was awarded with Arjuna Award for her achievements in 2009.

But there is a catch; the champion has another tale to tell. At the 2014 Asian Games, held in Incheon, South Korea, she was a victim of injustice. It was Sarita Devi’s semi final bout; her opponent was Jina Park (Hosting nation’s boxer). The first round can be said as somewhat neck to neck but the rest of the rounds her completely one sided. Sarita threw ferocious punches and her footwork was fantastic. Park simply could not compete and was off balance many times. Everybody cheered for Sarita. Sarita thought she won, coaching staff thought she won and fans thought she won. But all hell broke loose when the referee lifted park’s hand as the winner. It was totally unfair! The Indian Express said, “Sarita appears to be a clear winner in the bout… dominating the proceedings with such ferocity that Park barely managed to stand the assault. But much to the shock of Indian contingent and the spectators, the judges awarded the bout to Park.” This result and the whole fiasco tarnished the image of technical officials of AIBA besides raising a massive question on how things are carried out. Sarita was robbed off. Being the warrior she is, she protested against the incident and refused to take the Bronze medal and handed it to Park.

Sarita Devi was handed a one year ban by International Boxing Association (AIBA) for refusal of the medal. It was said that her refusal to accept her bronze medal on podium went against sportsmanship but no one at homes took it that way. Every Indian appreciated her actions.

She returned to boxing in 2016 and still puts her heart into her sport; she trains well, eats well, be with her family and tend to her child. She is a complete warrior. Things are falling in place for her once again. She says, “When you do something by heart you always achieve your dream. I follow this principle.”- A mantra which can be followed by us too. She never backed down from any challenge, even fought against injustice. We salute you ma’am!