The monsoon rains in Kolkata might clog up its streets, but not the infectious energy of this bunch of rising football enthusiasts in Sonagachi, Kolkata’s biggest red-light area.
The football grounds are damp, but the gaggles of girls have turned the by-lanes of the city’s red light area into their playground.
They dribble the football, practice a few tricks they have learnt, and train kicks with natural ease and flamboyance, they feel– ‘Why should boys have all the fun’!
The Durbar Mohila Samanway Samiti (DMS), has been helping sex workers and their children in Sonagachi area, and elsewhere in the state, and the Samiti is all set to launch their first women football team under their franchise ‘Amra Padatik’.
Starting in August, daughters of sex workers from the Sonagachi, Kolkata’s biggest red-light area, will get a chance to flaunt their soccer skills, shatter stereotypes and chase their dream to score goals like the Ronaldos’, Messis’, the Baichung Bhutias’ and Sunil Chhetris’.
Even though Argentina crashed out from the World Cup-2018, the blue-white striped flag of the team can still be seen fluttering high around the area along with the hopes and aspirations of these girls of sex workers.
An Argentine supporter, Sunita Das, 14, and a team member of the girl brigade, said, “I love Messi, and someday I hope to score a goal just like him. He is great and the best.”
Another girl from the red-light area Swapna Seikh, a hard-core Portugal and Ronaldo fan plays football with others boy of the Durbar’s team, is excited to be a part of the girl’s football team.
A beaming Swapna opined that we will show them (read boys), we are no less. She added, “Although the boys are very supportive and encouraging, but they sometimes challenge us saying–let’s see what you can do.”
According to reports, as of now, there are about eight to nine girls all set to start training. The Durbar Mohila Samanway Samiti members hope that as the practise starts in full swing, more girls will join in.
Bharati Dey, mentor of Durbar Mohila Samanway Samiti, speaking to a News daily, said, “We always wanted an exclusive team for girls as we preliminary work for the benefit of women, and this project has been in the pipeline for many years.”
Dr. Pratim Roy, former team doctor of Kolkata’s one of the ace football team Mohun Bagan Sporting Club, has come forward to guide the aspiring girl footballers.
Dr. Roy speaking on the enthusiasm of these girls said that some of the girls saw that boys were sent abroad because of football, and were being lauded for their talent, and now the girls too want to achieve the same feat.