Hima Das has become a buzz word overnight, a star that has exploded into a glorious shower of meteors. 

The fact that she has been able to grab a gold medal at an international platform from a country where female foeticide is still in practice, is a remarkable feat. 

She also belongs to a country where a woman’s standard of life is dependent on factors like geographical area, educational and social status, caste, age or religion. India witnesses ‘death before birth’ in many parts even today! 

Hima was not affected by the fact that she is from Kandhulimari, a remote area in Dhing village of Nagaon district in Assam. She is the daughter of a farmer from a small village which speaks volumes of how hard it must have been for her to reach such heights. But nothing bothered the 18-year-old and nothing could stop her. All she focused on was her passion to run which made it possible for a girl who ran in the rice fields to run on a world track representing her nation. She fought against a society which is judgemental of every step a woman takes – be it her choice of career, dress, or how she behaves, be it at home or at social gatherings. Hima inspires and spreads hope in the hearts of many girls, who are constrained by the patriarchal society, to sail against the wind and rise high. 

Girls like Hima Das are proof that women have great hidden potential within them. If given equal opportunities to showcase their talents and pursue their respective interests, they can be treasures and not a burden for the society and family. The success of Hima calls for more initiatives from the government for more opportunities and proper guidance for women to produce more Kalpana Chawlas, Hima Dases or Mary Koms. Besides government initiatives, however, it is essential that we as a society construct a milieu around us where women are at par with their male counterparts, and avail equal opportunities and participation in all spheres – be it political, economic, social or personal. The parents of Hima Das stand as an example in this regard. They did not restrict their daughter to follow her dreams like many educated parents do. 

She is an inspiration to many other Himas in the country who are subdued right now. She is a slap right on the faces of those who still practice female foeticide because, for them, girls are a burden to be given away in marriage. She made India and Assam proud but she has also made the women in the country immensely proud. Hima ran like a girl. She competed like a girl. She made India proud like a girl. - Sovia Pegu

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