Fighting against financial and other everyday problems, tribal girls at a Jalpaiguri tea plantation in West Bengal are on track to achieve their dream of playing rugby, with numerous players having found a place in the junior and senior national teams.
The parents of these girls have an everyday earning of ₹ 200 as tea garden workers. However, their problematic financial situation has not deterred these youth players.
Inspiration And Determination
This is made possible due to the initiative of the organisation Jungle Crows and also the determination of the girls. Project manager and coach of Jungle Crows, Roshan Khakha during his chat with news outlet ANI said:
"The organisation was started in the year 2010 with the help of a parish priest. Then we started playing the game and now dozens of girls have found a place in the national team. Rugby has changed the lifestyle of the youth here. Otherwise, we could see them working in the tea plantations or getting married. It feels great to see the passion and dedication of the youth of this area."
He also revealed that the organisation also provides tuitions, workshops and other classes, to make sure that their education is noty affected. Roshan further stated that the children are hardworking and how that is always the most motivating thing about working there.
The coach then went on to urge the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal Government to give support, to help rugby in the state can reach new heights.
"We are getting support from the Centre under the project of Khelo Rugby, however, we also need support from the state government," Roshan said.
The players of several Jungle Crows have represented India in the national and junior teams as. National rugby player Rashmita Orao also expressed her thoughts on the matter and said that the athletes persisted even after getting only one meal a day.
According to the data from May 2016, World Rugby Rankings rated India 77th among all rugby-playing counties.