Kolkata: Seasoned doubles shuttler Ashwini Ponnappa on Monday said it's important to stand by the women in the #MeToo movement.
Her 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medal winning doubles partner Jwala Gutta has been a 'victim' and Ponnappa said women need to be understood and heard.
Jwala alleged 'mental harassment' by a national coach and spoke about what she had to go through as a player and how she was 'thrown out' of the national team.
“In a nation like India, you need to be tough and careful as well. It's important to stand by them, listen to them and give them strength and courage. It's not easy to speak up and voice your opinion,” Ponnappa told reporters on the sidelines of the the inaugural Badminton Express League launch.
The #MeToo movement against sexual abuse had taken social media by storm.
Ponnappa along with Jwala had formed a formidable pair and they went on to win a bronze at the 2011 World Championships, a bronze at the 2014 Asian Championships and silver in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
However, the duo decided to part ways after they failed to win a single game at the Rio Olympics 2016.
Ponnappa added that she was “lucky and blessed” that nothing of that sort has happened to her.
“It's quite unfortunate with all the things I have read and that's happened. But all I can say is that I am fortunate in that respect that I don't have much to complain about or say. I am grateful for that,” she said.
The Badminton Express League will have six teams with 14 players each as they will compete for top honours at the Ordnance Club in Kolkata from November 28-December 2.