They went against their families to pursue the sports they loved.
Now, the two teenage girls, Kshetrimayum Margaret Devi and Parveen Nisha, have made their kin proud
Devi, 19, who hails from a small town in Manipur, and Nisha, 18, who comes from a resettlement colony, have triumphed all odds to bag direct admission in Delhi University under the sports quota.
The two have not been allotted colleges yet.
Delhi University this year, like earlier, has given direct admission to 14 students — including Devi and Nisha — who have participated in international tournaments.
Devi and Nisha — whose participation in the South Asian Games at Guwahati and Shillong earlier this year opened the gates of DU for them — are also the first women ever to be selected by the varsity for playing football and kho-kho.
Kshetrimayum Margaret Devi
Devi’s tryst with football began in 2006, after which she went on to play for India’s under 14 and 19 teams. A mid-fielder, her most recent achievement has been winning a gold medal during the South Asian Games in Shillong.
The teen footballer hails from the small town of Kakching, 56km away from Manipur’s capital Imphal.
Before representing India in the games, she played for small clubs and associations in Manipur.
“My parents both come from the medical field and they were absolutely against me pursuing football as a passion. They wanted me to become a doctor,” Devi said with a smile on her face.
A science student, she managed to score 75% in her Class 12 board exams and thinks getting to join DU is one of her dreams come true. For now, she has her fingers crossed for getting admission in Lady Shri Ram College.
“My dream is to play for India in the football World Cup. But the Indian women football team never manages to qualify. So, I doubt if I will ever be able to make it that big,” Devi, who considers Lionel Messi as her idol, said.
Eighteen-year-old Nisha has been playing kho-kho since 2010, when she was in Class 7. Like Devi, Nisha too says that her family was initially against her playing the game but is now proud of her.
Nisha grew up in resettlement colony in Badarpur and studied at the Government Girls Senior Secondary School No-3 in the same area. She is the first in a family of eight siblings to get a chance to study at Delhi University.
“I want to study Hindi (hons) at Daulat Ram College. I have been told that the college has a very good kho-kho team as well,” said Nisha, who has scored a 72 % in her Class 12 boards.
Nisha’s coach Sumit Bhatia, who has been helping her with the admission process, described the girl as sincere with a zeal to succeed.
“She has been a very sincere student. Apart from playing the game, she was always keen on studying in DU. So, I helped her apply here,” Bhatia said.
He said the girl has been supporting her family financially too with the contract money that she gets.
“She recently signed a deal to play for the Airport Authority of India and is getting a decent amount of money, which she contributes to her family,” said Bhatia.