These Haryana players will represent their country in the ongoing FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, which is being held in India from October 11 to October 30.
Against all odds, five Haryana girls dribble their way to the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
Five girls from Haryana’s Hisar and Bhiwani districts have made it to the Indian football squad in the ongoing FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup, demonstrating exemplary determination and refusing to let their humble backgrounds stand in the way of their dreams.
Varshika and Shailja of Bhiwani’s Alakhpura village, Neha and Kajal of Hisar’s Mangali village, and Naketa of Hisar’s Chuli Badiyan village are from families of marginalized farmers and laborers.
These players will represent their country in the ongoing World Cup, which is being held in India from October 11 to October 30.
Surender, Varshika’s father, is a low-income farmer in Alakhpura village. Her mother died of cancer when she was one year old, in 2008. Shailja is the daughter of a daily wager from the same village in the Bhiwani district, which is known for producing a large number of female footballers.
Dharambir, Neha’s father, works for MGNREGA, whereas Kajal and Naketa’s fathers own small plots of land.
Sonika Vijarniya, a football coach, stated that she has spent the last ten years on deputation at a government senior secondary school in Alakhpura.
“I noticed Varshika and Shailja when they came to the playground to watch the football games. Shailja’s parents are day laborers, and it was difficult for her to persuade them because they could not provide a nutritious diet for their daughter, but they eventually agreed,” she said.
According to Vijarniya, at least 20 Alakhpura football players have gotten government jobs. The majority of female football players in the state are from the villages of Alakhpura and Mangali.
“We used to hold friendly matches every week, and our morning practice begins at 5.30 a.m. and ends at 7 a.m.” The evening session runs from 3 to 7 p.m. “Over 250 girls have been practicing at our facility,” she added.
Surender, Varshika’s father, stated that his daughter last visited home in May and that she has not been able to call home in the last few weeks due to her world cup practice sessions.
“Her elder sister Kajal is a national player who has also brought honor to the family and village.” It was difficult for me to run the family after their mother died, and it was difficult for me to enroll both of my daughters in football. I made sure my daughters had milk, desi ghee, churma, chickpeas, and curd every day. “I worked hard in the fields, in addition to caring for my cattle,” he added.
Dharambir, Neha’s father, attributed his daughter’s success to her coach, Sukhwinder Kaur, who had recently been transferred to Panchkula.
“She asked me several times to send Neha to the football field at the village’s government school.” I told her that I couldn’t afford her diet and shoes. She was very helpful to us, and Neha also proved her coach correct by performing well at every level,” he added.
Sukhwinder, a government coach, stated that she had been training the girls in Mangali village for over ten years.
“At first, I had to bring the girls from their homes.” These girls come from low-income families, and nutrition is a major concern. Because milk, curd, and chickpeas are readily available in villages, they are reliant on this diet. “Haryana villages have a lot of talent,” she said.
Sukhwinder stated that Kajal and Neha have enormous potential and that when they received a 75,000 scholarship from the state government after winning a medal in the national games, this amount was enormous for their families.
Naketa was trained by Vinod Kumar, who has been training girls for free in Hisar. He claimed that because of his approach and recommendation, many girls, including Naketa, were unable to represent Haryana, forcing him to send them to Himachal Pradesh. ENDS
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