Star wrestler Sakshi Malik today hailed a bill passed by the Madhya Pradesh Assembly awarding death penalty to those found guilty of raping girls aged 12 and below.
The assembly yesterday unanimously passed the bill providing for capital punishment to convicts in cases of rape and gang-rape of girls up to the age of 12.
"I totally agree with the move," the bronze medallist in 58kg category at the 2016 Summer Olympics told reporters when her reaction was sought on the landmark bill.
She said there has been a positive change in the society towards the girl child after sportswomen started bringing laurels to the country.
"After women brought laurels in sports (at global level), parents are realising they should not discriminate between boys and girls," she added.
"Girls are being encouraged to take part in sports," said the Haryana-based wrestler, who was felicitated here at a function organised by the Madhya Pradesh government.
Asked about the high number of female foeticide cases reported in her home state, Malik said she was the brand ambassador of Haryana and while attending village functions, she advocates equality between genders.
"I always tell people about medals won by women (at international events like the Olympics)," she added.
Asked if she faced any discrimination in her family because of her gender, the 25-year-old replied in the negative. "I am lucky, my parents always supported me."
However, Malik admitted some people in the society did discourage her from taking up wrestling as a career.
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