NEW DELHI: The ITBP has raised a maiden hockey team of tribal girls in the Naxal violence-hit region of Bastar in Chhattisgarh, a senior official said on the eve of International Women's Day.
The official said the girls, who compete in the under-17 category, live in a hostel located in Kondagaon district of the state and hail from families who have been affected by the Left Wing Extremism (LWE).
A total of 42 girls, largely from tribal background from remote locations, were taken under the wings by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police's (ITBP) 41st battalion that is deployed in the area to conduct anti-Naxal operations.
"Recently, the Sports Authority of India has chosen 6 girls from this group for better and professional training," the official said, adding the girls would be felicitated by the force on the International Women's Day on Friday.
Kondagaon is located in the Bastar area in southern part of the state and it is adjacent to 'Abhujhmaad' region where government machinery is said to be negligible owing to dense forests and presence of Maoists.
The girls were initially chosen to learn the hockey game in 2016 and now they are well prepared.
They are now playing at the state-level and will participate in hockey tournaments across Chhattisgarh and outside, the official said.
The ITBP provided the girls shoes and other sporting gear and Head Constable Surya Smith, himself a hockey player, of the force has been training them, the official said.
The mountain-warfare trained ITBP is primarily tasked to guard the India-China border and is also deployed to render a variety of duties in the internal security domain of the country.