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The Squash Rackets Federation of India has agreed to pay equal prize money for men and women

Indian women athletes put in same amount of sweat and bloodsays Dipika Pallikal
news Squash Friday, June 17, 2016 - 11:53

World Number 18 and one of India’s top squash players, Dipika Pallikal will return to the country’s premier tournament – the National Championship- after a gap of five years. This after the Squash Rackets Federation of India agreed to have equal prize money for men and women. Chennai-born Pallikal had boycotted the domestic tournament since 2011, demanding that prize money be equal for winners of both categories.

In an interview to The News Minute, Pallikal says, “My voice for equal prize money for the country's premier event was not only to benefit me but all women athletes and sports women in India who put in the same amount of sweat and blood to train and play. It is equality that we pray for.”

Niraj Shirgaokar, the National Championship Director, told PTI that winners in the men’s and women’s category will get equal prize money of Rs. 1.25 lakh each. Calling it a “great move” by SRFI and a “welcome sign”, the squash player says she is looking forward to playing the Nationals and will play her “best game of squash”.    

A 2014 BBC survey reveals that out of 35 sports, 25 pay equal prize money internationally. Sports like cricket, golf, cycling and football offer different prize money for men and women. In 1973, tennis became the first sport to pay equal prize money for men and women at the US Open.      

“With Squash Federation of India showing the way, I am sure many more federations will follow and soon there would be many more women taking to the sport,” hopes Pallikal.

 

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