Asian Games: Meet the rugby girls of India

India and rugby usually are no longer often bunched together in one sentence. However from next week, that it’s seemingly you’ll perhaps perhaps read/hear plenty about it, thanks to 12 young girls folks who bear demonstrated continuous improvement in the outdated couple of years and are now dilemma to characterize India in rugby 7s at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.

From diminutive villages in some distance-flung areas to the global arena, this has been an remarkable chase for these young girls folks. Let me offer you a search for.


Hupi Majhi, one of the senior avid gamers in the body of workers, comes from a diminutive village Dhatika in Mayurbhanj district of Odisha. Until 2017, hardly someone knew that she played rugby. Why? Consequently of she did no longer mumble someone. Her fogeys bear been against it.

In her village, girls folks aren’t allowed to play any create of out of doorways sport. Or wear shorts. Rising up, she used to be easiest allowed to switch to college as a kind of out of doorways activity. Sport used to be out of the query. However Majhi quietly pursued her passion.

“The screech arose after we accomplished runner-up in the Asia Rugby Females’s 7s match in Laos,” Majhi talked about. “When returned, the local papers published my pictures. That’s when the secret got out. I went home for a spoil and my fogeys bear been horrified to know that I used to be a rugby player.”

Money came to her rescue.

“The Odisha executive announced a reward of a pair of lakh rupees for every particular person of us. In our household no person had ever heard of that form of money. When the money used to be transferred to our accounts and I handed over the money to my fogeys, they bear been timorous. It used to be no longer one thing they had ever imagined. Things modified after that,” Majhi talked about.

Rugby modified Majhi’s life in additional ways than one. She now talks with plenty of self assurance and has a poise about herself. However when she used to be younger, she used to be scared and did no longer know easy techniques to discuss over with other folks. When she used to be sent to boarding college in Bhubaneshwar in 2007, at the start she disregarded too many lessons out of alarm of exposing her weaknesses. In the college mess, she would possibly perhaps perhaps no longer summon enough courage to query for food and often went hungry.

It used to be easiest after she joined Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) that she heard of rugby. “I started taking half in rugby as a consequence of it allowed me to invent one thing with out having to discuss noteworthy,” Majhi talked about.

She is 28 now and level-headed unmarried. In village societies, it’s already too unhurried.

“Nobody now asks me the marriage query. And despite the truth that they invent, I will dispute no. I desire to play for India for a pair of more years and there is absolute self assurance of getting married at the 2d,” Majhi talked about matter-of-factly.

For Dumini Marndi is all nonetheless five toes tall and doesn’t even glance treasure a rugby player nonetheless her dedication to make respect is too colossal to be measured.

“Survey, for us there is nothing to glance forward to in life,” Marndi talked about. “Girls in our village all bear an identical lives. It is all about serving to the males in the household. And can bear to you are of a definite age, your fogeys will salvage you married. Then you bear teenagers and invent the identical that your elders did.

“In all this the one component that is missing is respect. Girls don’t bear respect. That’s what I desired to make for myself and that’s what rugby has given us. That’s why I desire to be on the pitch for India,” she concluded.

Marndi, who also confronted an identical resistance from household as Majhi, is now the most famed girl in her village. Every time she visits her fogeys, felicitation programmes are organised for her with other teenagers coming over to notion her blessings and pose for pictures.

Rugby helped Mama Naik make certain a correct meal on the table for her household.

“All americans needs an even bigger life. You wish need to use one extra egg, bear an additional glass of milk or one extra piece of fish. For years, we did no longer bear the technique to invent so. Each and each time I desired to bear an additional piece, I would want to mediate that any person in the household would possibly perhaps perhaps traipse hungry. Now things bear modified. Now I will provide my household with an even bigger life. Most significantly, no person stops me from taking half in Rugby anymore,” Naik talked about.


The sport is governed by Rugby India in the nation and is headed by renowned actor and broken-down rugby player Rahul Bose. He has introduced in a proactive technique to administration. He has roped in leading company properties in an strive to invent the sport self-sufficient and offer the avid gamers a respectful residing.

Bose has introduced in professionals from leading rugbyplaying worldwide locations and the girls folks’s body of workers now has a 10-member give a elevate to workers including a head coach, efficiency analyst, nutritionist, physio, psychological conditioning coach and more. Interestingly, bigger than half of of the give a elevate to workers are girls folks and that used to be a awake name.

With executive give a elevate to, Bose now has to make certain every yelp-level Rugby player to receives a commission. “We’ve taken diminutive steps. These are hugely vital can bear to you suspect of the bigger image. We’re confident that Indian rugby will soon invent the nation proud and change trusty into a viable profession option for plenty of in the nation,” Bose talked about.

With Rugby India getting give a elevate to from the Odisha executive and with a proactive president at the helm, things can easiest increase for the likes of Majhi, Marndi and Naik in the future.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the creator. The facts and opinions expressed here invent no longer mediate the views of

Read More



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here