Kondagaon (Chhattisgarh) [India], October 4 (ANI): It was just like a film script for Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) head constable who trained 9 girls for hockey in the deadly Naxals-hit area. After almost 4 years, the girls are also set to dream big.
After getting trained from ITBP, girls studying at the local Mardapal Kanya Ashram, now have been selected for the sub-junior and junior national women hockey trial camp for this year. 4 years ago, these girls were selected by the local ITBP Battalion- the 41st Battalion Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) which is deployed in the area to fight against the left-wing extremism.
"Hockey Coach Head Constable Surya Smit of the Battalion coached the girls and trained them to play on the national level. ITBP Battalion provided all possible basic requirements and equipment for the practice," ITBP said.
ITBP arranged their practice on the local helipad which is the only available open space in the area. Within minimal resources but the best possible training, these girls have become an identity of women empowerment in the District and Bastar region at large.
"In 2016, these girls were not even aware of how to hold a hockey stick or how to play wearing shoes. 3 girls have been identified to be tried for national sub-junior while 6 have been selected to be tried for junior-level trials which will be organized in near future for 20 days duration in Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh," ITBP said.
Recognising the talent- the girls aging 14 to 17 years- Sevanti Poyam, Tanisha Nag, Sukmati Mandavi, Sukri Mandavi, Sumani Kashyap, Sulochana Netam, Savitri Netam, Sanjini Sodi, and Dhaneswari Korram have been issued with the special permanent identity cards by the Hockey India. More than 50 girls age ranging from 8 to 17 years have been trained by the ITBP in the region till now.
"The ITBP has identified these girls for training and motivated them. All girls are from remote left-wing extremism hit areas as many as 35 kilometers deep inside the jungles of Chhattisgarh and are first-generation hockey players in their families. The girls aspire to play international hockey," ITBP said in a press release.
A member of the group Sulochana said, "ITBP did what it can do and still doing the best they can, now we want to play for the country at the national level and hope someday our sports minister Kiren Rijiju will take a call to provide us the platform, what we need is better playground and equipment to practice quality hockey training."
ITBP coach Surya Smit says "this is the first such hockey talent hunt in the reason, these girls can do wonders if given more exposure and better facilities by authorities, ITBP trained them from the very beginning to national level players, we will continue to do so in future too." (ANI)