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Sangeeta Das- Showcasing girl power in Delhi football

Written by: Mrunal Nakashe

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A young lady is helping girls from underprivileged sections of society find a direction in life through the beautiful game...

Indian football has always been a male-dominated sport, yet it is ironic that the women’s national team is ranked well above their male counterparts. The situation is not much different in the nation’s capital Delhi. However, as the female game continues to receive a big push in the country, the stereotypes are being challenged across the nation. Khel Now recently met up with one such young lady who is breaking barriers in the capital’s rapidly transforming football landscape.

Meet Sangeeta, the daughter of a hawker who himself played football in his younger days. She is a resident of Batla House in Jamia Nagar and was introduced to football thanks to the NGO Cequin. Das recently participated at the Hindustan Times Great Indian Football Action tournament, coaching a team of girls from the NGO at the event and we tagged along to learn more about her story.

Asked about her initiation into the game, she says, “My family is very happy. They have always been very supportive in all my endeavours. My father played football for his school. So, he understands the game and how it should be played. He tells me how to shoot, how to pass and so on.”

Talking about her approach to the game she says her father always encourages her to take low, grounded shots as he believes keepers find it difficult to get down in time and as such, one is more likely to score if the shot is hit with enough power.

Her father adds, “The ball should remain with a player for not more than two minutes (figurative) because as soon as you receive the ball you should know where your next pass is so that play can move forward. This is what I always tell her. Because I’ve played the game I know these things.”

The hawker has high ambitions for his daughter as he says, “I want her to play in the top leagues and progress despite being a woman. That would make me most happy.”

That evening the girls lost in a match against the boys but Das was keeping her spirits up. “This was our first loss. For many of my girls, this was their first match against boys and they were a bit nervous. It happened to me and it happens to everyone. But, as I played more and more I grew in confidence. So will these girls. If we get a chance to play another match we will surely do better than this,” she signed off assertively.

 

 

Published: Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:17 AM IST

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