Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, October 4
Defeating all odds, nine tribal girls from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) Hockey Academy have made it to the prestigious Hockey India Sub-Junior and Junior National Trial Camp, Chhattisgarh.
“The girls are studying at the local Mardapal Kanya Ashram. They were selected by the locally deployed ITBP unit, 41st Battalion, four years ago,” an ITBP spokesman said. The battalion, deployed in the area to fight against the left-wing extremism, provided all possible support and equipment for them to practice.
The ITBP arranged their practice on the local helipad, which is only available open space in the area. Within minimal resources but best possible training, these girls have become an identity of women empowerment in the district and Bastar region at large.
Hockey coach Head Constable Surya Smit of the Battalion coached the girls and trained them to play at the national level.
In 2016, these girls were not even aware of how to hold a hockey stick or how to play while wearing sports shoes.
Three girls have been identified for trials for national sub-junior while six have been selected for trials for junior level, which will be organised in the near future for a 20-day period in Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh.