Star wrestler Vinesh Phogat on Saturday backed the #Meetoo movement that has been sweeping through India, saying the country must find ways to prevent sexual harassment of its women. Phogat, however, said that she has not experienced any kind of sexual harassment in her career.
“There could be such cases in sports also, I don’t know but I have not faced any kind of such harassment in my career. I also feel that my sport of wrestling should not have these kind of issues,” Phogat, who won gold in both Asian and Commonwealth Games, said during a discussion at the Ekamra Sports Literary Festival here.
“The women who are coming out are courageous. When you (woman) want to bring out these kinds of things in the open, many a times your family will stop you from doing, fearing your reputation will be harmed. The country should be able to deal with these of kind of issues on women,” she added.
The 2018 Asian Games gold medalist opined that she'd prefer to have an identity of her own, rather than being referred to as one of the Dangal sisters.
Vinesh also said that she does not want to be known as a cousin of “Dangal” wrestlers, who featured in the Bollywood blockbuster. “I am angry if people say I am the sister of Dangal wrestlers, the sister of the Phogats who feature in Dangal movie. No doubt Dangal has put wrestling in the forefront of national awareness. It is good but I would want a name of myself, as wrestler Vinesh who has done the country proud,” she said with Olympic medallist Yogeshwar Dutt and World Championships silver winner Bajrang Punia at her side.
Asked if she would agree to acting if she is offered a role in a Dangal sequel. “My focus is on winning a medal in 2020 Tokyo Olympics and that is my goal. My mind is on wrestling and not on any other thing. I may think about it later on.” She also said that her name in school was Anita before her uncle changed it to Vinesh.
Yogeshwar talked about the necessity of foreign coaches in understanding the style of wrestlers of other countries.
“Foreign coaches will not give you Olympic medals but they are important in understanding the style of foreign players. It is an advantage when you play abroad and compete outside.
“Indian coaches are important, the first coach is important and other later coaches are also important. We need to know what is going on outside India and what we need to innovate.”