In India, marriage sometimes puts a woman’s career on hold, and motherhood then brings it to a grinding halt. But eight super-moms are showing it’s not merely possible to keep going, but they can succeed at the international level in a competitive environment even after motherhood.
Deepa Malik, 41 and Rajathi, 37, (in the Elite Athletes for Disability, Suma Shirur, 36, (shooting) Krishna Poonia, 28, G.G, Parmila, 33, and Sahana Kumari, 28, (athletics), Nirupama Sanjeev, 33, (Tennis) and Rameshwori Devi, 29, (cycling) have all made it to the Common-wealth Games squad.
Deepa, a paraplegic athlete and mother of two, is part of the shotput team. “My daughter Devika was with me during the month-long camps. This gave us an opportunity to build a special bond,” Deepa said.
Former national heptathlon champion, G.G. Pramila quit sport in 2004. Two years later, when her daughter Unnathi was just nine months old, Pramila returned to the national squad for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She had to endure staying away from her daughter for months when competing abroad and at coaching camps.
Krishna Poonia’s eight-year-old son also has to make do without his parents for long periods of time, as Krishna’s husband is also her coach. “Sometimes, I cannot meet my son for months. But he only demands medals from me and hopefully I will get one for him in the Games,” Krishna said.