SAMBALPUR: Despite representing the state in national level tournaments, many women footballers of the city are finding it tough to make both ends meet.
Several of them, under the aegis of ‘Progressive Sambalpur’ on Tuesday sought government jobs under sports quota and submitted a memorandum in this regard to Revenue Divisional Commissioner (North) Niranjan Sahu. Majority of women footballers from the city eke out a living working in garment shops and beauty parlours, they said.
36-year-old Madhumita Meher of Sakhigopinathpara said she has represented the State in several national-level football tournaments including the Under-19 Junior Women’s National Football Championship in 2001 and Women’s Football National Championship in 2006.
Apart from playing in national level tournaments, she has also completed her Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education.
But she did not get a job under sports quota. Left with no option, Madhumita took to sewing clothes earning a measly Rs 5,000 a month.
Another footballer, 34-year-old Dipti Kisan of Sakhipara, who has completed her Plus Two with Diploma in Computer Applications, said she played in Women’s Gold Cup in 2000, All India National Women’s Football in 1999 and Senior National Women’s Football Championship in 2001.
However, after failing to get a job under sports quota, she has been working in a beauty parlour earning a monthly remuneration of Rs 4000.
Convener of ‘Progressive Sambalpur’ Sanjit Mohanty said it is unfortunate that the women footballers, who had once represented the state, are now struggling to earn a livelihood.
The struggle of these players has discouraged many youngsters to take up sports, he said. Meanwhile, Sahu assured the sportspersons that he would take up the matter with the government.