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Renowned woman footballer rolls beedi for survival

Bhubaneshwar , Sat, 17 Mar 2012 ANI

Bhubaneshwar, Mar 17 (ANI): Renowned national woman footballer Jhilli Munda, who has represented India at international and national events in several tournaments, is bearing the brunt of acute poverty and she is forced to roll beedis.


20-year old Munda complained that the government failed to pay any heed to her condition, despite the fact that she had sent repeated reminders to them about her plight.


"People elsewhere, in other states have played football and are getting jobs. But in Orissa we are not getting jobs. So, we want that the government should assist us, because I am forced to roll beedis. It is a compulsion, just to earn money and feed myself. It would be good if the government provides us with a job," said Munda.


Munda's coach Balram Matari said that since she belongs to an impoverished family, she has to engage herself in such professions so that she could earn her livelihood.


"She played football at the national level and also went to Manipur, Kolkata and other places and she also got an opportunity to go for international games Under-19. She went to Malaysia and Bangladesh to play there. She doesn't belong to a rich family and her father works in a tailoring shop. So, just to support her family, she is also doing a part time job of making beedis," he said.


Meanwhile, sub-collector Rainu Singh said that the government would look into the matter and initiate schemes to improve the plight of footballers like her.


"Whatever information I have, I know that she is not getting anything and it's extremely sad. If players like her are neglected, so the situation would worsen. So, the administration has to take steps to improve their situation. As far as the guidelines in other states are concerned, we don't have much information regarding that as of now. But, if there are provisions in other states, then it should be implemented here as well," he said.


Munda has been playing football since 2000 and has participated in several under 17 and under 19 national football matches, where she has exhibited tremendous caliber.


She occupied the headlines of all the national and regional newspapers in 2004, when her team won the gold medal in an under-17 national football match played in Chandigarh against Manipur. (ANI)


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