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Meet Sumiya, North Kashmir’s young female, powerlifting champion who turned critics into admirers

Srinagar: Having been widely discouraged for choosing powerlifting as a sport in a society like Kashmir, Sumiya Khan who won two gold medals in National Powerlifting and Deadlift Championship held at Delhi this year. With that, Sumiya has proved her critics wrong and made the people of Kashmir proud especially her parents. ‘’Sumiya Khan Age […]

Srinagar: Having been widely discouraged for choosing powerlifting as a sport in a society like Kashmir, Sumiya Khan who won two gold medals in National Powerlifting and Deadlift Championship held at Delhi this year. With that, Sumiya has proved her critics wrong and made the people of Kashmir proud especially her parents.

‘’Sumiya Khan Age 19, is breaking all stereotypes in Kashmir, I was widely criticised by all sections of society, but my family members especially my mother stood shoulder to shoulder with me, It was not an easy journey for Sumiya Supported by none in her vision, she said that nobody supported her initially because of the deeply entrenched notions against women’s mobility in what is traditionally seen as a space for hypermasculine expressions.’’

‘’However, it didn’t affect Sumiya's dream and she continued to stay rooted to her mission. While talking to india news sumiya told us that only men are seen as taking part in powerful lifting in Kashmir. “Society has never allowed us to do these activities. more women are coming forward in this society where criticism is at its peak.’’

‘’It is not just Sumiya Khan, but her mother, Shabana Khan, too who believes in the empowerment of women. she urges people to not shut off the dreams of their daughters and to make space for them to grow up to be independent women in a patriarchal society. There is a massive potential among the youth of Kashmir but parents should be more supportive when it comes to the career choices of young women. Children should be allowed to chase their dreams without any hindrance, especially girls,” she said.’’

‘’Her fitness coach said that he only guided the path for her. I saw she had natural strength to lift weights that is essential for powerlifting. Then I proposed the idea of the sport and she agreed. We then started preparing for competition and by god’s grace she achieved a great milestone he said’’

‘’Sumaiya hails from a remote village of North Kashmir. She walks six kilometers with her mother every day to the gym center which is located at Sheeri market where she works out for about two hours. After working out for two hours straight at the gym center, Sumiya leaves for Baramulla city where she runs a beauty parlour shop. Sumiya is only 19 years old and is in class 12th besides her studies she works at a beauty parlor where she support her family and her expenses.’’

‘’Sumiya told us that a few years ago a YouTuber girl was shot dead in Central Kashmir’s budgam district and after that my family would not let me go out because they were afraid that our daughter would also be killed. But the situation in Kashmir has been improving, seeing that my family members are also giving free space, now our family members are not afraid of anything. Before 2019 there was an atmosphere of fear, but that fear is slowly disappearing now, girls have got freedom here.

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