How polo-playing Manipuri ladies are breaking boundaries, main a quiet revolution


Polo, regularly concept of as a recreation of the wealthy, has also been generally dominated by using guys. However, a quiet revolution is taking region at the very vicinity in which it all commenced – the northeast Indian nation of Manipur, that is taken into consideration the birthplace of modern polo.
While men were gambling this game here for hundreds of years, the highlight has now shifted to girls of the state who now subject five expert polo groups to compete with the sector’s pleasant.

These Manipuri ladies from humble backgrounds aren’t most straightforward shattering stereotypes that polo is a sport for guys, but added that it is the privilege of the rich.
L. Some Roy, conservationist, and associate at Hunter! Equine, has been one of the foremost crusaders for women’s polo in the nation and sees it additionally as a marketing campaign to store the enduring Manipuri pony, whose numbers have been declining through the years.
He says even as Manipuri women historically did not play polo as it was an equestrian game coming out of a martial way of life, nowadays, in the Nineteen Eighties, they were given inspired through their male spouse and children.
“The All Manipur Polo Association advocated them. About 40-forty five in step with a cent of polo players within the global are girls. So we are just catching up. It’s pretty gendered loose as recreation, so it puts them on the level of guys when they play together,” says Roy.
While Manipur produces one-third of male players and three-fourths of girls players within the united states, Roy says a maximum of those players from an isolated, economically-underdeveloped country are not individuals of the Indian Polo Association.
Yet, the nation has India’s most extended polo season — November to March — with two global and four-nation tournaments, along with the Manipur Statehood Day Women’s Polo Tournament, the most effective such match in India wherein groups from America, UK, Canada, Kenya, Australia, and Argentina have participated alongside Manipuri ladies.
The suits are held in Imphal’s Mapal Kangjeibung Stadium, the oldest walking polo ground within the international.
Filmmaker Roopa Barua, who began documenting the tale of women’s polo in Manipur in 2016, says a younger polo sisterhood is growing within the kingdom that plows on regardless of adversity and political turmoil.
“Around 2014-15, there has been an attempt to bring in international ladies gamers to play in Manipur. Part of this attempt changed into to create a marketing campaign to keep the Manipuri pony that is endangered. I noticed a symbiotic relationship developing, and I observed this story for four years,” she says.