Varanasi is one of the most ancient and most spiritual cities on the planet. The city is known for producing personalities from vibrant spheres of life. It has been the homeland of the legendary people who have been excelling in their spheres of expertise—Pt Ravi Shankar (Sitar), Ustad Bismillah Khan (Shahnai), Hemat Kumar (Musician), Birju Maharaj (Kathak), Girija Devi (Singer), Kabir (Saint), Premchand (Writer), Mohd Shahid (Hockey).
The town remains in news. This time this honour goes to five sisters of a city-family. They are Priyanka (40), Divya (37), Prashanti (36), Akanksha (30), and Pratima (28). Divya and Prashanti have been skippers of the Basketball team of India, and Akansha and Pratima have also played a pivotal role in the national team.
Unlike other successful stories from sporting families, these girls have to break many barriers. Their father is a Bank manager and their mother a housewife. Like the devotees of the ghats, the Singh sisters followed their spiritual journey on the Basketball court.
Their rise to success is fit for cinematic presentation. Relatives sympathized with their father for being burdened with five daughters, and the girls were subjected to frequent taunts and shackles since childhood due to prevalent societal gender biases. However, they did not step back and succeeded in breaking the stereotypes.
Being older, the road to glory was hardest for Priyanka and Divya. Nevertheless, their success paved the way for the other three.
The moment arrived in 2000. Divya would make her debut for the national team, and the call followed for others.
Priyanka was the pioneer as she set the rhythm for other motivated sisters as she represented the state team. Currently, she is a NIS Basketball coach.
Divya, who was the captain of the Indian team during the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, loves to don 4 number jersey. Right now, she is the coach of India’s U-16 boys’ Basketball team. Before this, she coached the University of Delaware’s Women Basketball team in the USA.
Prashanti Singh has earned many awards. She received the Arjuna award in 2017, and after two years, she became the first Basketball player conferred with Padma Shri.
Akansha made her debut for the national side in 2004. She is regular since then. She has brought a lot of laurels for her family through many notable performances.
Pratima Singh, who is also the spouse of Ishant Sharma, learned the art of game in Delhi. Pratima has represented the nation in many International tournaments. She is the better half of Indian cricketer Ishant Sharma.