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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Two blind female footballers inspire pride in Bengal

<p>At the renowned IBSA Women’s World Championship 2023 in Birmingham, UK, from 12–22 August, two blind ladies from Bengal will represent India.</p>
<p>The competition has eight teams from across the world and is the first of its kind for blind females.<img decoding=”async” class=”alignnone wp-image-56677″ src=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/www.theindiaprint.com-two-blind-female-footballers-inspire-pride-in-bengal-download-2023-07-04t094914.259.jpg” alt=”” width=”1256″ height=”836″ srcset=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/www.theindiaprint.com-two-blind-female-footballers-inspire-pride-in-bengal-download-2023-07-04t094914.259.jpg 275w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/www.theindiaprint.com-two-blind-female-footballers-inspire-pride-in-bengal-download-2023-07-04t094914.259-150×100.jpg 150w” sizes=”(max-width: 1256px) 100vw, 1256px” /></p>
<p>Sangita Metya and Pratima Ghosh, twin sisters from the state, will be a part of the eight-person Indian squad.</p>
<p>While the news may be fantastic for blind football for females in the state, it is also important to consider the government’s lack of interest in the game.</p>
<p>After a 10-day selection camp held in Kochi, Kerala from June 5–15, they were chosen. Before the squad flies to the UK, the Indian Blind Football Federation (IBFF) will have a two-week training camp for the girls from July 25 to August 11.</p>
<p>The key proponent of encouraging blind girls to play football in the region, Football Association for the Blind of Bengal (FABB) secretary Goutam Dey, said, “This is the first time that ladies from Bengal would be playing in the international competition. Only blind boys have previously participated in international competitions. I’ve been attempting to persuade the female trainees’ parents to join the sport. They are resistant to being persuaded because they worry about their daughters’ safety.</p>
<p>The girls’ parents are worried that it will be difficult to find a match for them if the girls get hurt since they come from extremely low-income homes. Dey, who has represented India at international competitions as a blind football player, bemoans the lack of government backing for the activity. “It is terribly depressing that the administration has not given them any acknowledgment since the girls were chosen for the international competition. The government has not yet provided us with any financial or physical help,” added Dey.</p>
<p>Dey is really having trouble organising even the two girls’ train tickets to Kochi for the training session. We hardly have enough money for flight. IBFF had urged that we control these girls’ diets. That, however, has a cost. For their training, I’m not even able to sign them up for a gym,” said Mr. Dey.</p>
<p>The fact that the females seldom have access to any public training facilities demonstrates the lack of interest towards the sport.</p>
<p>Sangita, a striker, is thrilled to get the opportunity to showcase her abilities overseas. “I’ll do my very best for the squad. However, we don’t have the right supplies with us, and my family is strapped for cash. They scarcely have enough money for training, according to Sangita, whose father was a sharecropper.</p>
<p>IBFF’s sports director and head coach, Sunil J Mathew, said, “We have not had any assistance from the federal government. We have raised money through having private sponsors. To advance the sport, we need government support as well as corporate funding. All of the girls are from challenging households. We’re hoping to place in the top four in Birmingham.</p>

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