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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Features

An inspiring story of achievement: Jharkhand 18, India’s pride
B Vijay Murty and Anbwesh Roy Choudhury, Hindustan Times
Ranchi, August 11, 2013
First Published: 00:05 IST(11/8/2013)
Last Updated: 03:34 IST(11/8/2013)

Eighteen tribal girls started practicing in the farms of Ormanjhi near Ranchi and because an American dared they ended up playing football in Spain. Franz Gastler, a US national founded Yuwa, an NGO, in 2009 to use football to promote health, education and a shot at a better life, but his unending efforts got India talking about the U-14 team.

They finished two international tournaments — Donostic Cup in Basque and Gasteiz Cup in Vitoria Gasteiz — in Spain last month. Among 10 teams, 200 girls, Yuwa won third prize at Gasteiz Cup.

With little help from the Jharkhand State Football Association (JSFA), Yuwa has done what even the state government failed to do in 13 years, since Jharkhand’s formation in 2000. HT has followed their efforts and was the first to report their inspiring story in 2011, when 3 Yuwa girls were selected for a tournament in Sri Lanka.

Asha Kumari, 12
Education: Shivaji Prathamik Vikas Vidyalaya, Class 8
Family Background: Only sister among four brothers, farmer father, homemaker mother
Resident of: Karma Toli, Irba, Ormanjhi
How long has she been playing for: Three years
Role in the team: Goal-keeper
On gender: Patience is an important virtue with girls
Parent’s quote: “My daughter is our pride”, says mother Indira Pahan.
Future Plans: Continue playing football and make a career. Marriage comes later
High point so far: Being called a football star at home
Low point so far: Suffered a minor crack in left hand, two weeks ahead of the Spain visit

Neeta Kumari, 13
Education: Class 6, KGVK Gurukul School      
Family Background:Youngest among five siblings, farmer parents      
Resident of: Hutup village
Playing for: Five years
Role in team: Midfielder
On gender:Girls should be treated at par with boys
Parent’s quote: “I have never boarded a train and here is my daughter who flew to a foreign country. I am proud of her”, says father Charku Mahato
Future Plans: Pursuing a career in football, will marry later
High point so far:  Travelling to Spain
Low point so far:  Leg injury ahead of the Spain visit

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2013/8/Football_new.jpg

Renu Kumari, 11
Education: Class 6, KGVK Gurukul School
Family Background: Farmer parents, one sister and one brother
Resident of: Hutup, Irba
Playing for: 5 Years
Role in team: Goal-keeper and right defender
On gender: Girls shouldn’t be scared of anything
Parent’s quote: “I want my daughter to pursue football,” Prakash Mahato
Future Plans: Study, Football
High point so far: Beating Spain 8-1
Low point so far: Loss in Spain

Sharda Kumari, 13
Education: Class 6, Shivaji Prathamik Vikas Vidyalaya, Daddaag
Family Background: Eldest among two sisters, farmer father and homemaker mother
Resident of: Dahu, Ormanjhi.
Playing for: 3 Years
Role in the team: Right forward
On gender: Girls are now flying planes, going to space. They aren’t the weaker sex
Parent’s quote: “I can only pray and wish that my daughter scale all ladders of success.”- Father, Sahjnath Mahato
Future Plans: Become a big football player, not ready for marriage now
High point so far: Spain visit
Low point so far: When others were left out because they were over-aged

Lakshmi Kumari, 12
Education: Class 9, Abdur Razzaque Memorial Urdu Middle School, Irba
Family Background: Farmer father, mother, a housewife, six sisters and two brothers
Resident of: Hutup, Irba
Playing for: 2 years
Role in the team: Forward
On gender: Girls should explore sports and academics
Parent’s quote: “My daughter has made my family proud and my village proud in India.”- Father Dudhwa Oraon
Future Plans:  Sports teacher
High point so far: Scoring in the Gasteiz Cup
Low point so far: Loosing 2-1 in the Gasteiz Cup

Sushma Kumari, 14
Education: Class 10, Shaikh Bhikhari High School
Family Background: Eldest of the two  sisters, farmer parents
Resident of: Sildri, Ormanjhi
Playing for: 2 Years
Role in team: Defender
On gender: Boys do not take care of their parents, girls do
Parent’s quote: “I had never thought my daughter would go so far.” - N Mahato, father
Future Plans: Become a football player, no marriage for next 10 years
High point so far: Bathing in the sea in Spain   
Low point so far: Losing matches in Spain.

Shivani Toppo, 12
Education: Class 6, KGVK Gurukul School
Family Background: Mother, a worker  at the plastic factory, one brother
Resident of: Hutup, Irba
Playing for: 5 years
Role in the team: Right forward
On gender: Girls should also get an opportunity in all fields
Parent’s quote: “I am proud my daughter travelled in train and plane,” - Jhuri Devi, Mother
Future Plans: Study at college
High point so far: Scored as right forward in Spain
Low point so far: Was given no respect in India after winning the cup in Spain

Manisha Tirkey, 13
Education: Class 7, KGVK Gurukul High School
Family Background:  Farmer father, housewife mother and one brother
Resident of: Karmatoli, Irba
Playing for: 3 years
Role in the team: Left forward
On gender: Girls should play sports, especially football
Parent’s quote: “I used to scold my daughter for playing but after her success my view changed” - Jabua Devi, mother
Future Plans: Study and marriage
High point so far:  Beating Iran (1-0) in Sri Lanka
Low point so far:  They dug the grounds where we used to play

Sunita Kumari, 13
Education: Class 10, Ormanjhi Girls High School
Family Background: Farmer father, housewife mother and one sister
Resident of: Koelari, Irba
Playing for: 3.5 years
Role in the team: Defender
On gender: One should be proud to be a woman footballer
Parent’s quote: “I am very proud of my daughters as footballers.”
Future Plans: Become a football coach
High point so far:  Scoring 2 goals within a minute in Spain
Low point so far: Conceding 3-6 loss in Spain

Chanda Kumari, 12
Education: Class VI, KGVK Gurukul School
Family Background: Youngest among three siblings, parents are farmers.
Resident of: Karmatoli, Hutup
Playing for: 5 years
Role in the team: Left forward
On gender: Daughters are always better
Parent’s quote: “Playing football has helped her with admission in a good school. She would win more laurels.” Kaleshwar Mahato, father
Future Plans: To become a teacher else a football player
High point so far: Seeing the ocean, had never seen a sea or an aeroplane
Low point so far: Losing the semi-final in Gasteiz Cup

Supriya Kumari, 13
Education: Class 8, St. Mother Teresa High School, Ormanji. 
Family Background: Eldest of two siblings, father, an accountant in a rice mill.
Resident of: Rukka, Tungri Toli
Playing for: 3 Years
Role in the team: Right-back defender
On gender: Girls can do several things what boys can’t.
Parent’s quote: “Proud of my daughter. Have no words to explain her achievement.”- Dhani Ram Mahato, Father
Future Plans: If not a footballer, then an engineer. Marriage after job
High point so far: Getting selected for the Spain visit.
Low point so far: Losing at the Donostic Cup


Kusum Kumari, 12
Education: Class 7, KGVK Gurukul School
Family Background: Farmer father, housewife mother, two brothers and one sister
Resident of: Hutup, Irba
Playing for: 5 Years
Role in the team: Right forward
On gender: Girls should wear T-shirt and jeans like foreigners.
Parent’s quote: “We are very happy.”- Kisu Devi, mother
Future Plans: Become a football player.
High point so far: Scoring against tall Spanish girls
Low point so far: Defeat in the Gasteiz Cup and facing neglect in India

Urmila Kumari, 13
Education: Class 10, Ormanjhi Girls High School
Family Background: Farmer father, mother, a vegetable vendor, two brothers and one sister
Resident of: Sildri, Harchanda
Playing for: 3 years
Role in team: Midfield
On gender: Girls should break all gender barriers
Parent’s quote: “My family used to scold but all changed after she became a star.”- Karma Mahato, father
Future Plans: Football player
High point so far: Scoring against Spain in the Cup
Low point so far: We lost to Spain, 3-6

Soni Kumari, 14
Education: Class 10, Sheikh Bhikhari High School
Family Background: Eldest of 4 siblings, parents are farmers
Resident of: Basati Village Ormanjhi.
Playing for: 3 years
Role in the team: Right mid-fielder
On gender: Girls have tremendous power to understand and adjust to situations
Parent’s quote: “I wish my daughter continues to play better and find a place in Indian team.”- Nand Kishore Nayak, Father
Future Plans: Football player. Marriage can wait
High point so far: Meeting people from different countries in Spain.
Low point so far: Players who were left out during selection

Poonam Kumari, 12
Education: Class 9, Abdur Razzaque Memorial Urdu Middle School, Irba
Family Background: Father, a farmer, mother, a housewife, six sisters and two brothers
Resident of: Hutup, Irba
Playing for: 2 years
Role in the team: Forward
On gender: Girls should not fear society’s rebukes
Parent’s quote: “Lakshmi and Poonam have made India proud.”- Savita Devi, mother
Future Plans:  Sports teacher
High point so far: Scoring at the Gasteiz Cup
Low point so far: Loosing 2-1 in the Gasteiz Cup

Rinki Kumari, Captain, 13
Education: Class 8, Premchand High School, Mesra
Family Background: Farmer father, mother, a daily wager, and one sister
Resident of: Karmatoli, Hutup, Irba
Playing for: 4.5 Years
Role in team: Center forward
On gender: Girls shouldn’t fear wearing short sport pants
Parent’s quote: “I want to see her become a national football star.”- Kaleshwar Mahato, father
Future Plans: Become a football coach
High point so far: Helping my teammates score 3 goals in Spain
Low point so far: Opposition to my going to the football field

Meena Kumari, 11
Education: Class 7, Premchand High School
Family Background: Youngest among five siblings, Parents work in fields
Resident of: Koilary, Irba, Ormanjhi
Playing for: 3 Years
Role in the team: Centre-midfield
On gender: Girls are getting more popular and successful than boys today
Parent’s quote: “Initially I used to stop her from playing football. Today, I ask her not to miss even a single day of practice.” - Govardhan Munda, father.
Future Plans: To become a bigger and better player, will never marry
High point so far: Playing in the stadium in Spain
Low point so far: Losing three matches at a stretch in Donostic Cup

Pushpa Kumari, 15
Education: Class 9, Block Girls School
Family Background: Farmer father and mother, a housewife, two brothers and one sister
Resident of: Hisatu, Irba
Playing for: 2 years
Role in the team: Right defender
On gender:  Girls should have the guts to face opposition in family
Parent’s quote: “My husband had opposed but after she won in Spain. Things changed for the better,” says  Kumi Devi, mother
Future Plans: Become a dancer and a footballer
High point so far: Scoring goals against Spain
Low point so far: First day when we lost to Spain

By B Vijay Murty and Anbwesh Roy Choudhury from Ranchi


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