There are certain things that make you upset sometimes, that you want to give vent to your feelings immediately.
Last night, just to catch some of the Olympics events, I turned on to DD Sports. They were relaying the recorded portion of the women’s archery events. Then, there was this best of 32 game between Pranitha Vardhineni(India), whom I was coming across for the first time, and another Australian.
Pranitha is just 17 years of age, seeded somewhere around 37. But then, the way she hit the board was so impressive, – She got a hit of 9 or 10 more the half her number of chances. The TV commentator – along with me – was caught in awe of her talent. He mentioned that she was good at the team event too, though India had lost it. His excitement about her continued through the game and he finally remarked that he would like to see her in the next Olympics, more skilled, and more matured.
And then she moved on to the best-of-16 game where she lost to one of the best archers in the world. If not for a few unfortunate and big misses, she could have given goose bumps to the Korean.
What irked me was, just a few hours ago I had browsed all news channels and there was no mention of this lone girl who moved on to the 1/16 round, or anything about how good a prospect she was.
Flash back to 1989. A guy 16 years of age debuted in his first one day international against Pakistan. Ask any Indian who he was, the score he hit that day, and who bowled to him and you will get right answers from more than 90% of the people. The funny part was, the match was converted to a celebration match due to some problem caused by the local crowds, and it was not even a one-day international.
Here there is one girl who is competing at the highest level, and just at the age of 17 (whose face could easily tell you that she is still not out of school)! But there is scarcely a mention of her!
Even at the end of that telecast, the DD sports hosts had NO MENTION of her . Nothing. I felt the commentator, who was not even an Indian, had better response to her efforts than anyone else.
We talk about the lack of support from the Government, lack of funds….first let us think about the lack of our attitude. We could have scripted just a 2 minutes of news on her, when we can follow Ash-Abh even to their bathrooms and relay about their sojourns for hours together.