College names sports scholarship after old student Mithali Raj

Indian cricketer gets rousing welcome in Kasturba Gandhi Jr. College

She stepped into the college, where she completed her two-year Intermediate course, after a gap of 17 years. And, in her own words, Indian women’s cricket team captain Mithali Raj was “overwhelmed and humbled” by the rousing reception from the students of Kasturba Gandhi Junior College (Marredpally) and also the announcement of the college management that they are instituting an annual scholarship in her name from this year which would be given to the best young achiever ensuring free education for the entire academic year.

“Those were the days when very few girls played cricket and I had to represent the college team which also had a few hockey and basketball players,” recalled a nostalgic Ms. Mithali after she was accorded a touching felicitation by the College management.

Sports culture

“I joined this wonderful institution because it had and still has a sports culture, enabling the young students to pursue sports in all seriousness. And, honestly, I don’t remember much about the college days in terms of academics as I was never a regular. I had the privilege of representing India when I was a student of this college,” she said amidst applause from the students.

“The institution was graceful enough to permit me to play the women’s cricket league for other teams. I appeal to the teachers — extend fullest support to the girls. No girl should be looked down just because she is a girl. We have to break these barriers,” Mithali appealed.

Education important

“Education is important and that’s why my mother ensured that I am a graduate and didn’t need to go to a college for a ‘second innings’,” she said with a big smile.

“I am truly honoured that the annual scholarship for excellence in sports has been named after me and the way you all cheered me when I came here,” she said.

Mithali stressed that the students don’t need to look at her as an inspiration.

“All of you work really hard day-in and day-out. Set the goals and raise the bar to achieve them. Success comes from within you. It all depends on how well you respond to the challenges,” she said. “Stand up for yourself and you will make it big one day,” she concluded.