Sports is a great leveller. It gives chance to the lesser privileged to break societal barriers and reach new heights. India witnessed yet another fairy tale as 16-year-old boxer Sandeep Kaur, daughter of an auto driver, won the gold medal in 52 kg category at the 13th International Silesian Boxing Championships for women.
Sandeep thrashed her Polish opponent Karolina Ampuska by 5-0 in the summit clash (junior section). Hailing from Hassanpur village in Haryana, Sandeep and her family not only had to face financial difficulties but also had to resist fellow villagers who had been forcing her parents to give up the sport. Despite the pressure from the villagers, her parents fully backed her.
It was Sandeep’s uncle, Simranjit Singh, who inspired her to pick up boxing. After returning home with the gold medal, she told TOI,
“I used to go with my uncle to a boxing academy near our village when I was a child. At the academy, I saw several youngsters box, and gradually my interest in the sport grew. I was 8 when I first picked up boxing gloves and started training.”
Her father, Sardar Jasvir Singh did not let her daughter give up on her dream. He drove autorickshaw to ensure that his family was fed and Sandeep’s dream to become a boxer stayed alive. Much like the father of the Phogat sisters, Mahavir Phogat, Jasvir ignored the villagers so her daughter could fulfill her dream and win glory for India.