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Living a dream: Slum to World Cup

sports Updated: Jun 29, 2011 23:39 IST

Khushali Darbeshwar, 19, pinched herself several times as she watched the opening ceremony of the women's football World Cup in a jam-packed Olympic Stadium here. From an Indian slum to Germany - it was like a fairytale dream for her to witness the soccer extravaganza Sunday.

Khushali is part of the 11-member Indian women's team participating in a parallel tournament - Discover Football, a global initiative to help disadvantaged girls, challenge societal norms and make a mark.

"I have never ever in my dreams thought about watching the women's World Cup opening ceremony and the first match of Germany against Canada. I pinched myself several times to feel if this was a reality or not," an excited Khushali said with a wide smile.

Being held on the sidelines of FIFA Women's World Cup, Discover Football has brought together eight teams from across the world for an international women's football tournament in the centre of Berlin. The teams have been selected by Streetfootballworld from a list of 38 applicants.

Slum Soccer - the Indian team - lost their first match against Berlin Monday, but there is no dearth of confidence among the players.

Slum Soccer was founded by a Nagpur-based NGO that trains underprivileged children and youth from across India in football.