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The Sportswomen Supported by Welspun Group and Why it’s Important to Shattering Gender Inequality

“…the day we teach our kids about gender equality and more importantly start treating them as equals…be it sports or corporate, we will not have to chase targets for gender equality”

Sanjivani Jadhav is a long distance runner from Vadobli village near Nasik. She has won 2 international running events in 2017, she finished a 10,000 meter race in second place and clocked her personal best timing at the World University games in August 2017. She also bagged a silver in the 3000 m at the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial arts games held in Turkmenistan. 

The Welspun Group’s CSR trust has been providing Sanjivani financial assistance since March 2017, sponsoring her travel arrangements for national and international tournaments, and training needs.

Welspun Group, founded in 1985, is a multinational company whose core industries include steel, energy, and textiles and is one of India's fastest growing conglomerates doing business in over 50 countries with 24,000 employees and over 100,000 shareholders. Its clients include companies operating in the oil and gas and retail sectors such as Chevron, ExxonMobil, and WalMart.

For Dipali Goenka of, head of one of the biggest home textile manufacturers in the world, and a leading voice of the $2.3 billion dollar Welspun Group’s CSR initiatives, empowering women in sports is one of the major focus areas addressed through the Welspun Foundation for Health and Knowledge.

“Inclusive growth is at the core of Welpsun’s value system and gender diversity is an important parameter by which we track our growth. We have achieved a remarkable milestone of having 22 percent women which is unlikely in the male-dominated manufacturing industry. I am of the opinion that business can be an agent of change and that inclusive growth should be embraced by all. I personally believe that if you want the nation to progress then you need to empower women. Because when you educate her, you not only empower her but also, empower her family and community at large. 

The idea behind sponsoring talented young sportswomen is to empower them. These women are extremely passionate and talented but unfortunately lack resources to achieve their dreams. We identify the right talent and aid them with financial support for proper coaching and training, balanced diet, tournament fees and their travel expenses. Encouraging women in sports gives us a sense pride and we feel privileged as we are an integral part of their growth. We are honoured that we are represented by these powerful women on national and international platform,” said Ms Goenka, joint. MD and CEO, Welspun India Limited. 

There are other sportswomen Welspun supports.

Manasi Joshi, a para badminton player from Ahmedabad. A truck accident in 2011 resulted in her losing her left leg, however that did not deter her and she continued to follow her passion and converted it into a profession and established herself as the World Para Badminton champion. She is financially supported by Welspun for her prosthetics and travel across the globe for tournaments

Malaika Goel is a 19 year old shooter from Punjab aimed her way through the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2014 as a silver medalist. She also bagged a gold at the 9th Asian Air Gun Championship held in Iran.

Aarti and Jyoti Patil, the twin national swimmers are aiming to represent India in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. They broke the national record of 248 seconds in the 200 m breaststroke organized by the Federation of India in 2015. 

The trust has not specified a time span to support these sportswomen in, however athlete performance is reviewed closely. Welspun currently supports 11 dynamic women willing to leave a mark in the world of sports be it boxing, swimming, taekwondo, cycling, athletics, badminton or weightlifting. The vision is to support 50 deserving sportswomen by 2020. 

There is a larger purpose to be fulfilled by sponsoring these token sportswomen. The ripple effect of financial support to deserving sportswomen to excel, the Foundation hopes will extend to battling gender stereotypes. The sporting world has proved to be highly resistant to meaningful gender reform, thus epitomizing many of the gender stereotypes which persist around the world today. 

When asked if more corporates could get involved in sponsoring sportswomen and gender equality, she said, “Yes, most definitely. Having said that I would like to emphasis that responsibility of gender equality lies on our shoulders as individuals. The problem will cease to exist, the day we teach our kids about gender equality and more importantly start treating them as equals. Then be it sports or corporate, we will not have to chase targets for gender equality”.

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