Growing up Rani Rampal had to go through crippling poverty. But she overcame all adversaries and became India’s hockey star.
Rani Rampal had grown up in poverty. Her father was a cart puller, and her mother was a house help. Every time it rained their kacha (Non-plastered) house would flood. The family would often struggle to arrange two square meals a day. And Rani had a ton lot of objections from her family and community regarding playing hockey. They used to say that playing hockey is not a woman’s job. A woman’s job is to cook and take care of the house. Besides they did not want to let her play in small shorts and skirts.
However, Rani Rampal overcame all adversaries. Without a balanced diet, she practised with a broken hockey stick. She was then accepted for training at the Shahabad Hockey Academy and received training under Baldev Singh, recipient of the Dronacharya Award.
Then at the age of 14, she became the youngest player to join the national hockey team in 2008. Later in 2016, when the Indian women’s hockey team qualified for the Olympics for the first time in 36 years, Rani was a key player. In 2017, she bought a home for her family, saving them from the poverty they always had endured. But Rani was not done. In the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Rani led the Indian team that bagged the fourth position, which was no less than a gold medal.
Rani is an inspiration and a model to all the young women out there with sports dreams. We salute her perseverance and skills.
Credits: The Better India.