Ladies First

Synopsis: An inspirational survival story of Deepika Kumari who, as a girl born on the roadside to abject poverty in rural India, went in search of food, stumbled upon archery, and within 4 years became the Number One archer in the World.
Director(s): Uraaz Bahl
  12 wins & 2 nominations.
39 min


Girls belong at home,

not on the sports field.

Sports are meant only for boys.

Girls should cook,

look after their home and raise children,

that's their role.

I won't allow my daughter to work.

If she wishes to,

she can work after marriage.

That's for her husband to decide.

I won't allow my daughter

to participate in sports.

Often I feel like answering back,

but then I feel

if I respond with words,

people might forget.

But if I respond with my arrows,

they'll never forget.

I hope girls in India

who face many obstacles

look at me for inspiration to rise above

their problems

and fight to follow their dreams

to pursue their ambitions.

My name is Deepika Kumari

and this is my second Olympic Games.

My ultimate goal is gold.

Because nothing is greater than this.

Once more.

Please don't say that.

Olympics, nothing is greater than this!

When you think about standing

on that podium

what goes through your mind?

Can you describe that hunger?

Obviously, no one fights

for Silver or Bronze.

Everyone dreams

of winning a gold medal.

You have to work extremely hard

to achieve that gold medal.

I always dreamt...

that the coach who taught me

when I'm on the

podium accepting my Olympic medal,

I would like to receive it from my coach.

Well, that's my dream.

And now,

another Olympics is approaching...

So I'm ready.

So, take us back in time. Tell us

about your background and your journey.

I'm from Ratu.

There's nothing for girls to do there.

I always felt like playing,

but my Mum never let me out of the house,

because I'm the eldest child.

I had to help with house work

like washing clothes and other chores

which is why my Mum never let me play

for fear that people might say,

"She's left her daughter out."

That's how narrow-minded they are.

My Mum works in a small village hospital.

There are no working women in Ratu,

only housewives.

-You see that yellow one?

-This one?

My Mum is my biggest inspiration. Like

her, I wanted to stand on my own two feet.

I loved stealing vegetables

from the fields, especially corn.

My friends and I were experts

at stealing vegetables.

Stolen food tastes so much better.


we would fry and eat this.

Mum left early in the morning,

which is why I'm closer to my dad,

as I've spent more time with him.

What are you doing?


There's no need for you to sweep the road.

My dad drives a rickshaw.

He's not very educated,

but he knows a lot about

the little things in life.

Whenever he speaks,

I just feel like listening.

We were very happy

when Deepika was born.

She was a healthy child at 5 kilograms.

She had curious eyes.

She was born on the roadside.

My Mum was never paid on time.

She would get her salary once

in three to four months.

That's why we had far too many problems.

There were days

when we didn't have any food.

Our house was made of mud.

Whenever it rained

or there was a thunderstorm,

the roof would leak.

So we would keep pots and pans

on the floor to avoid flooding.

We lived... in this half

and my Uncle and Aunt

lived in the other half,

They didn't like the fact that my Mum

worked and that caused a lot of fights.

At times, they would beat my Mum.

Yes, I used to beat her.

It's no big deal.

When she was three years old,

we passed by a roadside vendor

who was selling a small clay house.

We still have it.

So, Deepika picked it up and said:

"Papa, this is a helicopter."

She lifted the roof and said,

"Papa, you,

me and Mum will sit in this

and fly away from here."

I'm probably the only girl

who left the village at such a young age.

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    "Ladies First" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 21 Apr. 2021. <>.

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