Punjab may be dominant in men’s hockey (hockey), but India’s national women’s hockey team can soon be seen with strength in the Naxal-affected areas of Chhattisgarh state. Following the training of ITBP, nine girls in the state have been selected in the National Hockey Training Camp. The girls have asked for the help of Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju to provide better resources and better practices.
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In 2016, when the ITBP took the initiative to train these girls in Kondagaon, Chhattisgarh, they did not even know how to hold a hockey stick. He also did not know how to wear shoes. But so far, the ITBP has created more than 50 tribal girls in the age group of 8 to 17 years in hockey.
The persistent hard work and zeal of the 41st Battalion of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), deployed in the Naxal-affected area, brings the sweat of agitated girls. The nine girls studying at Kanya Ashram in Mardapal district have been selected for the National Sub Junior and Junior Hockey Selection Camp to be held soon, which is a dream come true for them.
ITBP started providing hockey training to these girls 4 years ago. Hockey India has now recognized these girls aged 14 to 17 and has also issued a permanent identity card to them to assess their talent. The names of these girls are Sevanti Poyam, Tanisha Nag, Sukmati Mandavi, Sukri Mandavi, Sumani Kashyap, Sulochana Netam, Savitri Netam, Sanjini Sodi and Dhaneswari Korram. They come from inaccessible rural areas located 35 km from the main routes in major Naxal-affected areas and their homes are in remote forests. ITBP head coach Surya Smit has trained these girls by creating a field of fewer resources and helicopter pads.