Mum’s the word as India bats for gender equality | Sunday Observer

Mum’s the word as India bats for gender equality

30 October, 2016

VISAKHAPATNAM, Saturday (AFP) – Indian cricketers on Saturday sported their mothers’ names on their jerseys to applaud their role in shaping their careers in a campaign to change attitudes towards women in the patriarchal country.

The “Nayi Soch (New Thinking)” initiative pitched by official broadcasters ‘Star Sports’ saw the players don the renamed jerseys in the fifth and final one-day international against New Zealand in the Indian city of Visakhapatnam.

“It’s an initiative to appreciate the contribution of the mom,” skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said during the toss ceremony, sporting his mother’s name ‘Devki’ on the jersey.

Openers Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma then walked out to bat with

“Sujata” and “Purnima” written above their jersey numbers instead of their surnames which refer to their fathers’ family names.

Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Rahane also feature in TV advertisements to promote the campaign which seeks to recognise the contribution of millions of

Indian mothers in shaping their children’s lives and values. “You must be wondering whose name it is? It’s mine.

Whatever I am today.Its because of my mother so obviously why should my identity be linked onlyto my father’s name? I am as much a Saroj as I am a Kohli,” says Kohli inthe TV ad.Patriarchy remains deeply entrenched in Indian society with women battlinggender inequality on many fronts including limited access to jobopportunities, healthcare and education.

India has faced intense scrutiny in recent years in the wake of a series ofhigh-profile rapes that have unleashed a wave of public anger over itsviolent treatment of women.