Thirteen-year old Sajjak Ali, the son of a sex worker, dreams to play football for India one day after he was enthused with praises for his performance at the under-14 national football championship in Jamshedpur last month where he represented Bengal.
Rocky Gayen and Surojit Bhattacharya, both inmates at the home of sex workers' children at Baruipur in the southern
fringe of the city, now also aim to represent the state.
All three are members of the soccer XI run by Durbar Mahila Samannaya Committee, an NGO of 65,000 sex workers in
West Bengal, as well as residents at the Rahul Vidya Niketan home who adhere to a strict regimen of morning practice,
prayers and studies at the home.
"We have 14 sexworkers’ children in the boys’ team, in the under-12, under-14 and under-16 age categories while the
remaining 20 boys hail from a mainstream background," their coach and former Mohun Bagan player Biswajit Majumder said.
Stating that there was initial opposition to the football squad raised a few years ago, he says parents of children have now become more receptive with other boys also availing the coaching provided by Durbar and practising side by side with sex workers’ children.