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India’s #Football Champs: The Real ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ #Girls!

August 2, 2013
uly 13, 2013, as most of India slept, eighteen girls from Jharkhand were ecstatically screaming ‘Vande Mataram’ as they lifted the trophy for being placed third in the prestigious Gasteiz Cup in Spain! Representing the Yuwa India under-14 all-girls’ team, this was the first time that most of them had even played outside their village of Ormanjhi on the outskirts of Ranchi. – See more at: http://www.thebetterindia.com/7571/tbi-inspirations-an-incredible-journey-from-jharkhand-to-spain-for-this-all-girls-football-team/#sthash.RwM6P6St.dpuf
uly 13, 2013, as most of India slept, eighteen girls from Jharkhand were ecstatically screaming ‘Vande Mataram’ as they lifted the trophy for being placed third in the prestigious Gasteiz Cup in Spain! Representing the Yuwa India under-14 all-girls’ team, this was the first time that most of them had even played outside their village of Ormanjhi on the outskirts of Ranchi. – See more at: http://www.thebetterindia.com/7571/tbi-inspirations-an-incredible-journey-from-jharkhand-to-spain-for-this-all-girls-football-team/#sthash.RwM6P6St.dpuf

football girlsOn July 13, 2013, a team of tribal Indian girls, all under the age of 14, from the remote village of Ormanjhi, in  Jharkhand, laughed excitedly as they lifted their hard won bronze trophy in the prestigious Donosti Cup game in Spain!  Most of these girls had never even been outside their village till then!

The organizers in Spain called the girls “Supergoats.”  That’s because before the actual match, these girls would practice bare-feet.  With limited resources, they could not afford to replace their football gear if anything got spoiled or broken.  So they’d save their gear for the actual match!

However, the story of what it took for these girls to get to where they did with their dreams is both heart-breaking and angering!!!  In a just released interview these girls have talked about how local bureaucrats in their village humiliated them for their dreams and aspirations and subjected them to all sorts of abuse when they approached them for their birth certificates.  To acquire a passport and visa, these girls needed birth certificates.

The government bureaucrats decided they’d have to earn their birth certificates by slaving for them — cooking, cleaning, sweeping the floors etc. 

The government officials also physically abused the girls — they were slapped and kicked, and told they’d never win the match in Spain because they were so malnourished and puny compared to the European girls! 

Finally the girls managed to get their birth certificates because their coach, an American, Franz Gastler, who founded Yuwa-India (the team these girls were a part of), and who fought on their behave and took the matter to higher authorities.

Yet eventually, not only did the Indian media not pick up on this hard won victory by these young girls, who had nothing but their dreams to carry them forward, but shamefully the All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel it seems was not even aware of the girls’  achievement, and nor was the country’s new sports minister Jitendra Singh!!

How many more girls are there in India, with incredible dreams and potential, whose dreams are squashed by the corrupt, abusive and misogynistic government and political machinery in India?

How important is it to bring the freedom and rights of girls and women to the political platform in India?

Supergoats by the organizers in Spain, since they were seen playing barefoot many a times during the practice matches. This was because the team had limited football gear and could not afford to spoil them before the tournament began. – See more at: http://www.thebetterindia.com/7571/tbi-inspirations-an-incredible-journey-from-jharkhand-to-spain-for-this-all-girls-football-team/#sthash.RwM6P6St.dpuf
Supergoats by the organizers in Spain, since they were seen playing barefoot many a times during the practice matches. This was because the team had limited football gear and could not afford to spoil them before the tournament began. – See more at: http://www.thebetterindia.com/7571/tbi-inspirations-an-incredible-journey-from-jharkhand-to-spain-for-this-all-girls-football-team/#sthash.RwM6P6St.dpuf
Supergoats by the organizers in Spain, since they were seen playing barefoot many a times during the practice matches. This was because the team had limited football gear and could not afford to spoil them before the tournament began. – See more at: http://www.thebetterindia.com/7571/tbi-inspirations-an-incredible-journey-from-jharkhand-to-spain-for-this-all-girls-football-team/#sthash.RwM6P6St.dpuf
4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 3, 2013 1:33 am

    Reblogged this on Paula Lindo.

  2. Susan Chaple permalink
    August 6, 2013 5:51 pm

    so lets get this right Indian government bureaucrats officals said the girls wouldn’t win because they are too “puny” to beat the European girls… two thoughts spring to mind
    1. are these officals proud then that Indian girls will be viewed this way by the rest of the world as “undernourished and puny!” to quote them ?
    2. how much more are the girls brains are to be commended then that in spite of the ‘PUNY’ brained officals they were up against they WANTED to do this !
    keep going girls we & millions are behind you Benjamin & Susan Chaple UK

  3. John Jay permalink
    September 15, 2013 4:51 pm

    CHEERS FOR THE GIRLS,But the politician’s may they rot in HELL , FOR THE ABUSE OF THE GIRLS, REMEMBER THEY ARE CHILDREN KIDS, NOT ADULTS. THEY CAN NOT STAND UP FOR THEMSELVES . And naturally the abusers rather pick a child, Because an adult would put up to much opposition !!Bless the woman of India, LET THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT FALL APART. PUT MORE WOMAN IN POLITICS .HAVE BETTER LAW’S PROTECTING CHILDREN, WOMAN OF THE TYPE’S OF SLAVERY THAT HAS PLAGUED INDIA FOR YEARS..

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