In the expansive orchards of densely planted mango trees in Lucknow’s Malihabad area, a peculiar sound catches one’s attention. The sound is of a bunch of young ladies and gentlemen busy punching hard at sandbags hanging from a mango tree trunk.
Aged between 7 and 17, the trainee boxers hail from marginal communities.
Apparently, their coach Mohammad Saif Khan decided to start teaching boxing to girls after a girl in his neighbourhood was raped and her family didn’t lodge a police complaint, fearing social stigma.
This makeshift boxing ring has brought out at least 10 district-level boxers and one national-level boxer in the junior category in the recent years.
Khan said that even though they did not have a conventional ring, the officials helped them tremendously to pursue their dreams.
Apart from jousting in the ring for professional achievement these 87 boxers, primarily girls, have learnt to safeguard themselves from attack and assaults too