Boxing twin-sisters storm the ring

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:52 IST

A Muslim household in Kidderpore, right in the centre of Kolkata, is home to twin sisters Shakila and Sanno, also known as Choti and Barhee.

Boxing twin-sisters storm the ring

Kolkata:

A Muslim household in Kidderpore, right in the centre of Kolkata, is home to twin sisters Shakila and Sanno, also known as Choti and Barhee respectively. They might come from a conservative background, but that has not stopped them from taking to a sport, which is certainly very unconventional for women, especially in India. "We want to stand on our feet and make our country proud. We want to be like Ali Qamar who has made the nation proud," said Shakila, one of the two twins. "We like it. Both of us like going and the power. Everyone in the neighbourhood recognises us and encourages us to play and not give up," said Sanno Baby, the other sister. Laila Ali in the making The twins are enrolled in the boxing academy, started by Asit Bannerjee, who coached the 2002 Commonwealth gold medalist in boxing Ali Qamar. And with more and more players, especially girls, enrolling themselves in the academy, Kolkata may soon boast of a Muhammad Ali or more importantly, a Laila Ali in the near future. "If the girls want, they will go far ahead. Right now they are playing at a small level. Once they had gone to play Nationals. We want our children to play well, go ahead and progress. And we will give them our blessings," said Shabnam Bano, mother of the two boxers. The agile bodies and swift punches of the twins are in sharp contrast to the image of Muslim women living under a veil. And at seventeen, the twins have not only changed the mindset of their parents, but have also paved the way for other girls to follow.

Topics : Boxing Bengal Sourav Ganguly Amit Mishra Rahul Dravid Pragyan Ojha Harbhajan Singh
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