Jyoti Guliya is just 20-year old. She is a boxer, and hails from a district of Haryana which has one of the worst sex ratios in the country — 867 women for every 1,000 men, according to the 2011 Census.
Despite this, she had been able to win a gold medal at the Women’s Youth World Boxing Championship in Guwahati in 2017. She was also a gold-winner from the 2014 and 2016 senior world championships.
Here, men tend to draw lines and women learn early to stick to them.
But Jyoti has managed to redraw some of those lines. While she easily steps in and out of the Guliya household, the other women — mothers and aunts — are all indoors. On the rare occasion that they step out for some chores, they draw their dupattas over their faces.
In 2012, Jyoti said she wanted to join the boxing academy that had recently come up in the village. Her father objected, but her mother put her foot down.
Jyoti’s father’s biggest fear then was, ‘What would the villagers say?’
Jyoti said, “I had a dream and passion for doing something in life. We have boxing stadiums in our village where I used to go for playing. But my family didn’t allow me for this initially. Only my mother used to know about it and she was the only one to support me.”
“Initially, my father and brother were not happy with my boxing passion and they did not support me. I used to play in the village and nobody knew about it but then I had to go for a state championship. My family members came to know about it and the struggle was not easy,” Jyoti.
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