Star wrestler Vinesh Phogat on Saturday backed the #MeToo movement that has been sweeping through India, saying the country must find ways to prevent sexual harassment of 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 the Asian and Commonwealth Games, said during a discussion at the Ekamra Sports Literary Festival in Bhubaneswar.
“The women who are coming out are courageous,” she said. “When you want to bring out these kind 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 kinds of issues on women.”
Vinesh also said that she does not want to be known as a cousin of the wrestlers featured in Dangal, the Bollywood blockbuster. The movie, released in 2016, featured the lives of Vinesh’s uncle Mahavir Singh Phogat and cousin sisters Geeta and Babita Phogat.
“I am angry if people say I am the sister of Dangal wrestlers,” Vinesh said, with Olympic medallist Yogeshwar Dutt and World Championships silver winner Bajrang Punia at her side. “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.”
Asked if she would agree to acting in a Dangal sequel, Vinesh said, “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.”
Vinesh also revealed that her name in school was Anita before her uncle changed it to Vinesh.