Shikha Uberoi, India No. 1 in Tennis, Asian Games Silver Medalist (Doha ‘06)
Sport for Development is a niche and growing sector in India, and I am very proud to be a leader giving back to sport, especially women’s empowerment. I am often aligned with NGOs like Magic Bus and other non-profits to support their endeavour. Sport is powerful, interesting and unique for development that is often overlooked in our country where we reward and honour doctors and engineers more than a professional sportsperson. I have a personal experience that academics and sport people are not exclusive.
I did my graduation from Princeton University and I was good at academics as well. So, it is possible to have the best of both worlds — sports as well as academics. For me and my four sisters, sports has inculcated into us the values of discipline, hard work and confidence; an overall feeling of equality, in short. What happens to a young girl, when she starts playing? She feels like accumulating social capital and intellectual capital, and goes on to strengthen the identity of her community and emerges as a leader in building her community into a bigger space.
It is interesting to draw a parallel between digital and sports space. As Internet derecognises and differentiates in the same manner as anyone in sports can come to play but only the best one emerges as a winner. Sometimes, I feel that I am in a crucial period of time — when everyone is trying to build India, we are the pioneers as an entrepreneur who will lead the future. Through my company SDU Seva, I highlight social issues in TV, Print and Digital format, including mobile phones. It is ‘M’, mobile, where everything is happening these days.