RANCHI: Forced to take up the job of a daily wage labourer in a brick kiln after other family members lost their livelihood in the lockdown, international footballer Sangeeta Soren of Dhanbad seeks government support to make her dreams true.
However, Sangeeta, 20, ensures she has time for practising football at the nearby stadium every morning.
Sangeeta grew up playing football along with the boys in her village Bansmudi near Dhanbad and later joined girl’s football club in Dhanbad to hone her skills. Within two years, she was selected for International Football tournament in Bhutan.
“I used to see boys playing football in my village from outside the ground and wait for the ball to come out so that I could kick it for once. Gradually, looking at my interest in football, boys allowed me to play with them. Considering at my dedication and abilities, some of the senior players in my village
took me to women’s football club in 2016,” said Sangeeta. That was a turning point in her life.
“Within a year, I went for the trail for state team for which I got selected and played the junior Women’s National tournament for two consecutive years. Later, while playing under-17 national tournament in Goa, I got selected for Asian Youth Uner-17 Football Tournament in Bhutan in 2018,” said Sangeeta.
Everything was fine and she was working hard with full dedication chasing her passion, but all of a sudden this pandemic disturbed the financial condition of her family and she was forced her to take up the job of a daily wage labourer, she added.
“My father partially lost his eye-sight due to old age and my brother was not getting work due to the lockdown. So, I had no choice but to start working to support my family. Therefore, I decided to work as a daily wage labourer at a local brick kiln a few weeks back,” said Sangeeta. Before this, she never had to think about earning money as both her father and brother were earning enough to support the family, she added.
“Even though it is difficult, I did not lose hope and make it sure to practise every day at the nearby stadium in Dhanbad as football is my passion and I want to live it till my last breathe,” said Sangeeta. During the last lockdown, the local administration had helped her in terms of money, but that could not be the solution, she added.
“In order to continue practice, I need to concentrate on my game. If I keep on thinking about meeting the two ends, it will be difficult to excel in this field. The state government must think about it so that I could devote all my time in games,” said Sangeeta.
Secretary of Dhanbad District Football Association, while asserting that Sageeta is going through a financial crisis, said that government must come forward to support such deserving players.
“Sangeeta is really a hardworking and dedicated player who really needs some kind of financial stability to continue her game. In order to promote sports in the state, the government must come forward in their support,” said Dhanbad District Football Association Secretary MD Fayyaz Ahmend.
Such young talents should get appointments in State police force to contribute for the state and country as well, he added.