While Haryana Steelers’ campaign at the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 9 might have ended, the franchise made a statement for reasons beyond the mat at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium on Saturday.
Facing off against Tamil Thalaivas in their final match of the season, the JSW Sports-owned Steelers used the occasion to spread awareness about Haryana Government and Police’s initiatives to curb domestic violence faced by women in the state.
The players sported the number 1091 on the front of their jerseys, which is the helpline set up by the Haryana Government and Police exclusively for women to report domestic violence.
In a video posted on the official Haryana Steelers Instagram page, coach Manpreet Singh spoke on the need to put a stop to the rising cases of domestic violence in Indian households.
“The issue of domestic violence against women in Indian households is a cause of worry. We have our mothers, sisters, and wife in our homes and we should treat all of them with love and respect. Violence should never take place inside our homes, to begin with,” Manpreet said.
“If we first offer respect to our own mothers, sisters, wife at our homes, then only we can learn how to offer respect to other women in the society. If we are violent at home, then we are violent outside as well,” he added.
The move is also a part of the Steelers’ wider campaign ‘Udne Do’ which the team launched last year in a bid to raise awareness around violence against women, and empowering the girl child.
Speaking on the special shirt the team took the mat in, Haryana Steelers’ CEO, Divyanshu Singh said, “This is a subject we, at Steelers, feel about strongly, and we want to keep using every platform we get to raise awareness about it. With ‘Udne Do’ we want to champion a campaign that makes a telling difference, and not something that is an eyewash to make us look good. We’re keen to keep building on this even in the off-season, and hopefully we can be the voice from the state that leads the cause of women and their empowerment.”