Inspired by PV Sindhu, Pakistan's 'Badminton Sisters' want to win gold
Fighting every adversity thrown by the society, the Badminton Sisters of Baluchistan are eager to follow in the footsteps of their idol, PV Sindhu.
In a country where women playing sports is still a taboo concept, sisters Alja Tariq and Sumiya Tariq hailing from Quetta, Baluchistan in the southwestern region of Pakistan, have gone against all odds to emerge as rising badminton players with big dreams in their eyes. Often the cynosure of comments aplenty because of their seemingly 'radical' encroachment in the world of sports, both Alja and Sumiya or the 'Badminton Sisters' as they are now popularly known, has taken every taboo held against women in Pakistan and turned it around in pursuit of their dreams.
With an extremely supportive family backing the interests of the girls and constantly pushing them for excellence, Alja and Sumiya never had to think twice about their choices. Having dabbled in a variety of sports like skating, cycling and bike riding, ensuring that their physical activity was never at a pause, Alja and Sumiya started playing badminton at just 10 and 11 years of age and soon, discovered their knack for it.
"We would watch the television and often see how well the Indian badminton star, PV Sindhu was playing. She inspired us a lot to remain committed to our game," Sumiya mentioned in a video interview with BBC Hindi.
Aside from getting motivated and inspired by the double Olympic champion from India, the sisters from Pakistan also derived a lot of strength from their father who would also play badminton.
"We want to go so ahead in life with badminton that those people who are from Karachi, Punjab, Shahabad do not think that there is no talent in Baluchistan. We want to get gold for Baluchistan and show the world," mentioned Alja Tariq to the BBC.
The father of two siblings, Muhammad Tariq, stands firmly by the side of his two daughters - Alja and Sumiya as he believes that it is important to know the world outside and not remain bound to the house only, practising orthodox customs.
This has been the main source of motivation for the Badminton Sisters who have gone on to win several trophies and medals and also emerged as path-breakers in Baluchistan. While Alja won the gold at the 2018 Quaid-e-Azam Games (U-25) and become the U-18 champion in Lahore, Sumiya was a U-16 champion for four years before becoming the U-17 champion in Char-Sadda and together, they have been U-19 champion in doubles as well.
Touted for success most definitely, eager as they are to follow in the footsteps of PV Sindhu, Alja and Sumiya are realistic hopefuls for doing Pakistan proud by bringing medals and promoting badminton in their country.