Parasports October 16, 2020
Para-badminton player Manasi Joshi gets Barbie doll modelled after her
Last week, USA based Toy Company Mattel Inc. honored achievements of Indian para-badminton player Manasi Joshi by introducing a Barbie doll modelled after her. Manasi shared this on her Twitter handle and has been showered with love and appreciation. Many people lauded Mattel Inc’s efforts to promote inclusion.
For those who follow para-sports, 31-year-old Manasi Joshi needs no introduction. This young para-badminton player has brought in numerous laurels to India. She has literally taken the world by storm with her splendid performances. Manasi was recently honored for her achievements with a Barbie doll modelled after her. Needless to say, she was thrilled. Manasi shared the news on her Twitter handle. This new model has been added to Barbie’s ‘Sheroes’ family.
Manasi, a true star
Manasi met with a motorbike accident in the year 2011 after which she had to amputate her leg. So she started playing badminton for rehabilitation and soon fell in love with the sport. While working in Ahmedabad, she asked renowned badminton player Pullela Gopichand to coach her after which she enrolled to his academy in the year 2018. Ever since then, there has been no turning back for Manasi.
After playing her first international tournament at Spain in the year 2015, Manasi won a silver medal at mixed doubles at the Para-Badminton World Championship held in England. Some of her laurels include winning bronze at Asian Para Games and gold at Para-Badminton World Championship 2019.
After the Barbie model was released, a thrilled Manasi shared photo of her holding the model. She tweeted, “Thank you @Barbie, it’s incredible to have an OOAK Barbie Doll modelled 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”.
Barbie’s one-of-a-kind (OOAK) dolls celebrate extraordinary women around the world.
Social media lauds Barbie’s efforts to inclusion
Manasi received a lot of love on social media. Efforts of the toy company were also lauded.
“Humbled to welcome you @joshimanasi11 to the @Barbie SHEROES family. You are a true inspiration to many girls. You truly embody the courage, the passion, and the determination that every girl inspires to pursue. Continue to make our country proud as you inspire us.#girlpower”, tweeted Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar.
“This is so lovely Manasi! Thank you @Barbie for adding this diversity in your collection dedicated to our courageous ans full of life paraplayer who inspires every one!”, tweeted accessibility and inclusion specialist Subhash Chandra Vashishth.
“More power @joshimanasi11 @Barbie this is such a powerful first step towards changing the narrative when it comes to the dolls made for our girls. This should go a long way in making a difference, we need more such to inspire our young girls”, tweeted journalist Harini PN Rana.
“This is your year truly @joshimanasi11! Gracing the cover of @TIME for the next gen leaders and shining as a true icon for millions of little girls with a @Barbie modelled after you! May this world be yours to own. Love, Team Manasi. 🙂 #Shero”, tweeted social media user and journalist Namrata Parekh.