A Tale of Triumph, Victory, and Resolution: Girls Football Team from Bihar
India has come a long way from the day of independence. It won’t be surprising to see that India would be one of the most developed countries in the world. But a sad reality always follows us. Class, religion, sex, patriarchy norms have formed an impenetrable gap among people. India still has places where women are not given enough space to grow. They have to fight for their rights. Bihar is one such state where a majority of the women are still wrapped up in the name of tradition, customs, and norms of society.
India still has places where women are not given enough space to grow. They have to fight for their rights.
How astonishing it would be when from this kind of society, teenage girls between the age group of 10 to 17 years win a football tournament hosted by the UN-NPSC.
It’s a tale of struggle, determination, and brilliance. Behind the success of these young is the helping hand of an angel by the name Ms. Afsana.
How This Girls Squad was Molded to be Winners
The idea of organizing a football team was initiated when Ms. Afsana, the founder of the ‘Pehchaan Live Foundation’ expanded her work from Delhi and Mumbai to Munger, Bihar.
Ms. Afsana is a dynamic woman, who believed in the talents and potential of the children living in slums and poor conditions. It was not an easy task for Ms. Afsana. But she was bowled over by the raw talent of girls from Munger who enthusiastically tackled the ball within a short period of training.
The girls belonged to the extremely poor family and oppressed group of the society. Ms. Afsana was not willing to stop helping these talents to go unnoticed. The dedication of the girls was also top level. They were filled with a new kind of energy and power. Ms. Afsana and her volunteers trained 24 talented girls. All the girls who were selected belonged to different religious backgrounds and were underprivileged too. They too were filled with dreams of a new beginning.
The Path to Success
When the young brigade of the girl’s football team was invited to compete in a tournament hosted by the UN, there was no looking back. Ms. Afsana was filled with pride since from the entire country her NGO was the only one to be invited. But she was filled with a lot of anxiety and tension too. Getting finance was a major hurdle Ms. Afsana had to face. A growing team, payments of teachers and coaches, stationery requirements, had all added up to a financial crisis. But she was determined to give these girls a ‘Pehchaan’ of their own. Hurdles on the way of success seemed never-ending.
Moreover, the parents were not ready to send the teenage girls to Delhi. They needed a lot of convincing to send the girls far from their home town. Ms. Afsana narrates her journey like this, “Over here in Bihar, people don’t even understand what the UN is. They do not understand the honor it means to get invited because they lack exposure. I faced a lot of difficulties in trying to convince the parents of all the girls to allow them to travel with me to the tournament.”
The right blend of passion and talent can transform any dream into reality. Help started to pour in from benevolent people who recognized the cause and supported in whatever they could do so that they would reach their ultimate goal.
“Over here in Bihar, people don’t even understand what the UN is. They do not understand the honor it means to get invited because they lack exposure. I faced a lot of difficulties in trying to convince the parents of all the girls to allow them to travel with me to the tournament.”
Winners against all Odds
The Munger team made a substantial impact on the first day of the match. The opponent never had a chance against this dominating team. In the first game, the score was 6-0 against Bal Bharati Model School in Pitampura! As the tournament continued its course, the girls continued their dominance against all kinds of opposition teams. The team pushed boundaries to pursue their passion for football. The girls stayed firm in their focus throughout the tournament. They never let the mild tease, jeer, and mock of other team come into its way. The ever-optimistic Ms. Afsana never allowed them to lose hope; she encouraged and pushed them to do their best. The finale was nerve-wracking for everyone. The Pehchaan girls who captured the trophy scored 5-3 against the Model School, Vasanth Vihar.
The wining of the Munger team is a victory of not just a team. It’s a monumental period where raw and potential talents that have been hidden for a long time have got a chance to show their real power. People whoever felt that girls are incapable or weak were left speechless.
People whoever felt that girls are incapable or weak were left speechless.
Ms. Afsana the powerhouse behind these girls had not left any stone unturned to promote them and bring them to the limelight. She helped to transform their dreams into a glorious reality.
Hats off to Ms. Afsana and her team from the ‘Pehchaan Live Foundation’!
Feature Image Credit: The Bridge
About the Author