A day after HT highlighted the death of a young anaemic footballer and plight of girls playing for the Argora Football Academy (AFA), two organisations — Ranchi Zila Khelkud Manch and Empower Jharkhand — hurriedly organised a health camp at the Sai Sports Centre in Birsa football ground, Morhabadi.
The objective was to find out haemoglobin count of the girls, majority of whom are anaemic, and might be risking their lives sweating it out for at least two hours every day and being unable to take proper diet.
Besides, there were orthopaedics, surgeons and other specialists too at the camp carrying out their overall health check-up.
Organisers said blood samples collected at the camp have been sent to the laboratories.
By Friday, the reports would be declared.
Only then doctors would be able to reveal the health status of around 250 girls playing with the Argora Football Academy and other clubs.
"While most of them were found to be anaemic, many of them had developed problems in their knee, ankle and other joints probably by playing on hard surfaces and not playing with proper gears, especially sports shoes," said Empower Jharkhand president Aditya Vikram Jaiswal.
He said that the girls had dental problems too and were unaware of the causes of anaemia and other health hazards that may risk their lives.
"It was a good gesture from the NGOs who felt the need to examine the girls' health without charging anything. Many of the girls in our academy are from very poor families and hence cannot afford the costly tests," said AFA president Neelesh Lakra.
Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Neelesh Mishra said that playing on hard surfaces sans proper sports shoes is taking a toll on the girls' health, especially their bones.
"If proper attention is not taken, it might turn out to be silent killerm," he said.
All of them at the camp agreed that they need to launch a war against anaemia.
They pledged not to allow another Ashrita Lakra, a promising footballer, to die unattended and uncared for.