German hockey coach Andrea Thumshirn, training school kids in Garh Himmat Singh village, has been facing stiff resistance from locals over her proposal to put an astroturf on the ground of Government Girls’ Schools at Mandawar - a village situated near Garh Himmat Singh village in Dausa district around 200km from the state capital.
Reason: Villagers in Mandawar believe astroturf would not allow children to play other games on the school ground.
"A German hockey club has donated the astroturf to hockey village - Garh Himmat Singh. We wanted to put this turf on the ground of Government Girl's Schools at Mandawar. The synthetic court was brought to Mandawar on Saturday but the plan to put it on the ground was kept on hold after locals protested against it," Andrea told Hindustan Times.
Earlier, Andera had got all the required permissions from the state sports ministry and district collector in this regard. The sports ministry had also sanctioned money for leveling ground and building a boundary wall at the ground before the turf is installed.
Andrea, popularly known as 'Bua Sa', has been training schools boys and girls (under 16) since 2011 at Garh Himmat Singh, a village situated in Dausa district around 200 km from state capital. Mandawar is a nearby town where the German coach had planned to develop a ground with astroturf.
"We have objected as this is the only ground for our children in the village. If this astroturf is established, no other games could be played here. Andrea had come to me and discussed about making a stadium here, on which I had agreed.
"But dedicating it solely for hockey is not acceptable to us, Ramniwas Goyal sarpanch of Mandawar said. Thumshirn, in her early 30s, belongs to Berlin and has played in premier hockey leagues in Germany."
"She first came to India in 2009, before finally settling down in Garh Himmat Singh in 2011 to train local children in hockey. She has managed to get donations around Rs. 4 lakh in past one year to get the astroturf transported from Germany."
"I will meet collector on this matter. If it is not resolved then we will have no other option but to put this astroturf at a private ground at Garh Himmat Singh," Andrea said.