It was a memorable occasion on Saturday for the mothers of archer Deepika Kumari, hockey player Sandeep Singh, badminton doubles specialist Ashwini Ponnappa and wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt.
They assembled at a function organised under the ‘Thank you, Mom’ platform by Olympic Games sponsor Procter & Gamble and wished their sons, daughters and the Indian contingent good luck at the London Olympics.
‘Bring glory to India’ and ‘Go for gold’ were the slogans they wrote on the board. “They did not show any interest for cricket,” said Sandeep Singh’s mother Daljit Kaur and Yogheshwar Dutt’s mother Sushila Devi.
Deepika’s mother Geeta Devi said her daughter’s phenomenal success had whipped up huge interest in archery among girls in and around Ranchi.
“Vidya (Deepika’s younger sister) feels if didi can excel why not she. Recently she took part in the trials. We have told Arjun Munda (Chief Minister of Jharkhand) that facilities have to be created so that young girls can practise archery and don’t have to travel long distances,” she said.
“Ashwini (Ponnappa) showed first signs of talent when she was two-and-a-half years old. She was a hyperactive child and I had to keep her occupied when I was pregnant with her brother. There was a badminton racquet at home. I scrambled a paper ball and Ashwini started hitting it very well; then itself I knew she had some talent for the sport,’’ said Kaveri Ponappa.