When the country's heart beats for a sport other than cricket, the person responsible for this feat was, very obviously, going to have her life upturned for the better. Sakshi Malik's bronze win at the 58 kg freestyle wrestling event at Rio 2016 was an emotion-packed moment for Indians. Not only did she end India's drought at the Olympics with a win, she also redeemed the name for women in a state, her homeland, which happens to have one of the worst sex ratios.
The wrestler from Rohtak who became an overnight superstar - and gaining 25,000 Twitter followers instantly, on a new account, was just the beginning - had even more tangible appreciation flowing in. Missions to endorse, prize money and offers to lead have been conferred upon her ever since the deserving young champion wrapped herself in the Tricolour at Rio's closing ceremony. Safe to say brand 'Sakshi Malik's' engagement had gone through the roof.
What fell in line first is the Haryana Government, as CM Manohar Lal Khattar felicitated her by awarding Rs 2.5 crore and a class-two level job in the state government. What's more - at the ceremony, the CM also
invited Sakshi to become Haryana’s brand ambassador for the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign . She fully and wholeheartedly accepted this honour, stating that she was overwhelmed to be a part of the campaign that is poised to empower the girl child and wipe out instances of female foeticide in districts with low child sex ratio.
A little over a fortnight later, Sakshi was invited to assume the mantle of 'wrestling director' at the Maharshi Dayanand University in her native town Rohtak, in order to popularise the Haryana Sports model in the country, which, if done accurately, has the potential to leave America behind in their medal tally, according to the state's Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Anil Vij. The minister also said that she will be given Rs 21 lakh out of his discretionary fund, and gifted her a 500 square yard plot as a measure of goodwill.
The golden girls - Sakshi, PV Sindhu and Dipa Karmakar - are also likely to be appointed as ambassadors of the nationwide Swacch Bharat campaign. So, as reports of Sakshi getting engaged to her longtime boyfriend and fellow wrestler Satyawar Singh surfaced, we couldn't help but feel ecstatic for the champion whose engagements, private and professional, are going to make sure the limelight stays shining on a personality that truly deserves the love. Here's wishing her all the luck and success to topple adversaries like she would her opponents, on the akhada!