On the International Day of the Girl Child, Barbie celebrated Manasi Joshi, an Indian para-badminton star with a one-of-a-kind (OOAK) doll modeled to her likeness as a part of the Barbie SHEROES family. The para-badminton World Champion was also named as one of the ‘Next Generation Leaders’ by TIME Magazine earlier this week. Her rise to the top of the sporting world is inspirational.
View this post on Instagram
Truly honoured to be recognised by @time Magazine as the Next Generation Leader. The younger me would have never believed it that some day I will be on the cover of TIME and be called the next generation leader. I am feeling proud and responsible for being the voice of an under represented community not just in India but across the world and I am glad that my sport is helping in amplify my voice and thoughts. For @time written by @abhishyantk photo by @kannagikhanna
A post shared by Manasi Joshi (@joshi.manasi) on
The Barbie OOAK doll celebrates all extraordinary women who inspire girls around the world to be anything they dream of. Manasi Joshi joins this celebrated and diverse group of SHEROES, which also include Naomi Osaka, Frida Khalo, Nicola Adams Obe, Madison De Rozario, and Sumeyye Boyaci.
She took to her official Twitter handle on Sunday, October 11, and wrote, “Thank you @Barbie, it’s incredible to have an OOAK Barbie Doll modeled after me. I believe education around inclusion & diversity should start early & I hope that my story encourages young girls to harness their true potential & become whoever they set out to be #YouCanBeAnything.”
The team at Barbie, with its ‘Dream Gap Project’ which was launched in 2018, has been on a mission to give young girls more role models to choose from. The global initiative is to bring ‘women’s stories from all walks of life’ to show the young girls they can be anything.
Sports was always an integral part of Manasi Joshi’s life. However, a freakish road accident cut short her career in 2011. Her left leg had to be amputated.
Nevertheless, her approach and spirit remained unfazed. In 2019, Manasi Joshi won the BWF Para-Badminton World Championship and currently holds the World No. 2 spot in the Women’s Singles. ‘Sports helped me break stereotypes, I now want to use that experience to be an enabler for others,’ she had told the TIME Magazine.
In an interview with News18, she said, “We have many other para-athletes like Madison de Rozario, who is a wheelchair racer, and Sumeyye Boyaci, who is a para-swimmer who have been included. To have a doll modeled after me as the first Indian para-athlete is an immense honor.”
Not competent enough to sit idle and stare as the world goes by, Pallavi is optimistic to a fault and believes in building her world on her own rather than depending on others to make things right.