Inspiring stories from sportswomen, and behind the scenes with Sapan

“I’ve been attending online events for the past two years, and this was the best, most engaging by far”, a young activist in Delhi after the South Asia Peace Action Network event on Sunday, featuring sportswomen from around the region and their stories.

This was the best feedback ever, especially with the tech issues we had behind the scenes.

International award-winning sportswomen from around South Asia participated in the event. We tried to do a ‘group photo’ but it didn’t go the way we were planned, so Aekta Kapoor found a creative solution and put together this collage for the Sapan website. Top row (L-R): Mabia Akhter Shimanto, weightlifter, Bangladesh; Sana Mir, former captain Pakistan cricket team; Ashreen Mridha, basketball player, Bangladesh; Nisha Millet, swimmer, India; Middle row: Ayesha Mansukhani, athlete and sports investor, India; Champa Chakma, cricketer, Bangladesh; Khalida Popal, former captain, Afghanistan football team; Preety Baral, tennis player, Nepal. Bottom row: Noorena Shams, squash player, Pakistan; Roopa Nagraj, cricketer, UAE/India; Gulshan Naaz, partially blind runner, India; Caryll Tozer, athlete, Sri Lanka; Rumana Ahmed, captain Bangladesh national cricket team.

The event featured a special appearance by Samina Ahmed sharing a never-recorded-before skit penned by the great Shoaib Hashmi during the Zia years. The video is also on the Sapan YouTube channel do subscribe and give it some traction. Other clips from the event will soon be up on the channel also thanks to Hamza Arif of Naya Daur.

Samina Ahmed, Mira Hashmi, Shoaib Hashmi, circa. 1997. Photo by Tapu Javeri

As always, we started with a slideshow, In Memoriam, paying tribute to the departed leaders whose vision we are trying to take forward, as well as lives lost over the past month. All this is in the press note South Asian female athletes share inspiring stories of grit and determination, posted on the newly launched Sapan website by Aekta Kapoor, intrepid editor of eShe magazine. She threw herself into developing the site and also conducted the event with calm and grace. It was a lucky day when I heard from Dr. Devika Mittal (congrats Devika!) of Aaghaz-e-Dosti about the eShe Indo-Pak Peace Summit Led by Women, January 2020 and reached out to her.

Kudos to all the Sapan volunteers who kept going despite the glitches. I’m so inspired by their vision, leadership, team spirit, hard work and creativity. Besides Aekta, a special shoutout to Vishal Sharma, Priyanka Singh, Mandira Nayar, Shuja Uddin, Samir Gupta, Ammu Joseph, Ravi Nitesh, Sarita Bartaula and others who kept the momentum going for this event. Amartya Sen, Ramu Ramdas, Lalita Ramdas, M. Tahseen, Karamat Ali, Urvashi Butalia, Kalpana Sharma, Kanak Mani Dixit, Khushi Kabir, Salima Hashmi, Nalaka Gunawardene, Raza Rumi are some others behind the scenes who have been invaluable in this process.

A group photo that worked: Some of our amazing team members and guests, including Mandira Nayar, Baela Jamil, Shuja Uddin, Admiral and Lolly Ramdas, Aekta Kapoor who conducted the event seamlessly, Vishal Sharma, Priyanka Singh, Khushi Kabir, Ravi Nitesh of Aaghaz-e-Dosti, sports reporter Natasha Raheel in Karachi and activist and researcher Payoshni Mitra in London who co-anchored the event; plus special guest, retired educator Nirupa Dewan in Bangladesh who has mentored many sports women, journalist Shuprova Tasneem; and journalist and analyst Najam Sethi who pulled the threads together at the end besides sharing a couple of others and a brilliant idea – read the press note to find out 🙂

Sapan is on social media platforms as @southasiapeace – FacebookYouTubeInstagramTwitterLinkedIn.

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One Response

  1. Good timing Beena as an Aussie woman has just won a gold medal!


    Sent from my iPad



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