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The COVID-19 crisis has halted outdoor training and competitions for India's 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup captain Amarjit Singh Kiyam. To use his time judiciously, Amarjit is helping his parents in paddy cultivation in his native village in Manipur.
Amarjit is a 19-year-old midfielder who has already graduated to the senior national team. He has now joined his father in transplanting paddy seedlings on a piece of land that belongs to his family.
"I was helping my family in the paddy field to do the farming. There's no shame in going back to your roots and help your family on the paddy fields," India Today quoted Amarjit as saying.
"My family has been farming for generations. But I myself have not paid much attention to farming since I was a kid. I was always too much into football," he added.
For Amarjit, farming in their land is an opportunity to reconnect to the roots.
"Normally, I don't get to be home for a long time. Even when the season is over, we have been going on some exposure tour or the other with the junior national teams. So when I do eventually get to come home for a few weeks, it's generally not the season for cultivation," Amarjit said.
"Now I have got the time to actually go out there and reconnect with my roots. I feel proud. I've learnt the different aspects of farming, and I can tell you it's quite a draining activity," he added.
For Amarjit, stepping outside his home and engaging in such activities is "quite refreshing".
"It's always nice to have some sort of activity as a hobby -- something that helps keep your mind off football for a couple of hours every day. I think farming has done that for me. I'm really enjoying this activity," he said.
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