SRINAGAR: At a time when Kashmir is reeling under the dark clouds of conflict, sports have come as a game changer. Starting of 2017 saw a rise in games being played in the valley both at national and international levels. Many hidden talents of Kashmiris came to front and it helped Kashmir to make a name on international level.
“Sports have helped me to get my life on track. My overall personality has completely transformed. Sports have helped me to come out of the psychological disturbances that the conflict has caused. I go to places in India to play and I believe that Indians at a large do not discriminate between a player from Kashmir and players from rest of India. The youngsters of Kashmir need to focus on developing their overall personalities rather than indulging in politics which is meant for people who can handle it well. My vision of looking at things has changed holistically and it’s all because of sports. I have that we can do wonders if we divert our energies to playing”, said Danish Manzoor a national level taikondawo player.
Not only conflict issues but sports have helped the other gender (females)to come out of chains and play. Tajamul Islam, Iqra Rasool, Insha Bashir are some few examples that are breaking the barriers and are helping other girls to come out of the thinking that sports is not meant for girls.
“I have come a long way , playing at home under hijab to playing at national level. Playing cricket has helped me to break the stereotypes and I believe that every girl has the rights to fulfill her dreams and aspirations”, said Insha Bashir a national level cricket player.
Faisal Ali ,the trainer of Tajamul Islam(world kickboxing champion) said tha” Kashmiri players have all the capabilities that a true sports person needs.Our players are now trying their level best to prove their potential at national and international levels.
Parents are also playing a positive role in allowing their children to play which was not a case few years back, we have now come out of that mentality where we would think that only IITs NIT’s and medical colleges are the places where our children should go however now parents too want their children should earn a name in this feild. But the politics is changing the picture of a game where less interest is shown in increasing the opportunities for our players”.
However Secretary J & K sports council Mr Waheed ul Reham Para could not be contacted due to his bad health. (KNB)