Kolkata: Concerned at the alarming rise of violence against women, five-time world boxing champion and Olympic medallist Mary Kom on Thursday urged women to take up sports for self-defence and to stay fit.
Recalling an incident when she was assaulted by a rickshaw puller, the Manipuri boxer said: "I was travelling alone from the SAI Hostel and when the rickshaw entered a deserted street the puller tried to snatch my bag.
"But I was not one to take it and I punched him hard and he fell down. My coaches arrived and he was handed over to the police," Mary said.
Mary, a mother of three, urged parents to put their children in sports to keep themselves fit.
"Sports is a good way to keep yourself fit. Parents should take the initiative," she said.
Mary said she was determined to become a sportsperson after seeing a lot of action movies in the childhood.
"I had to convince my parents who were against it. I started out as an athlete, but became a boxer after a state championship was held in Manipur," she said.
Terming husband K Onler Kom the pillar of her success, the London Olympics bronze medallist said: "It`s all because of his support I could achieve this. He stood behind me in all the difficult times."
Looking at Rio 2016, Mary said: "I`ll give my best for the gold medal. My experience in London Olympics will be a big help."
He (Major Dhyan Chand) is inspiration personified. He became synonymous with hockey. He became the parameter of hockey by which other player's calibre is measured.
Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal