Support this Kabaddi coach to help girls chase their dreams | Milaap
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Support this Kabaddi coach to help girls chase their dreams
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Need Rs.30,000
  • MK

    Created by

    Manish Kumar
  • PS

    This fundraiser will benefit

    Palam Sports Club

    from Delhi


Neelam has been training young girls from across the country in Kabaddi for the last 25 years, with children as young as 10 attending the sessions. Her husband, Ajay Sahu, who is the secretary of the club, manages daily affairs and ensures that the needs of aspiring players are taken care of. Together, they run the Palam Sports Club at Dwarka, Delhi and have trained around 300 players, out of which 9 have gone on to represent India in various international tournaments and numerous others have competed at the national level. Neelam's first batch won the first national tournament in Amravati the same year. Since then, looking back has not been an option. Coming from financially weak backgrounds and conservative families, they have undoubtedly made a mark for themselves in recent years.

Determined to make something big out of these young talented athletes, the couple earlier provided them accommodation and food at their own flat as they didn’t want them to be bothered with anything except their performance. A lot of them belong to families where parents are working long hours to just make ends meet and so it's tough for them to provide for the training in any way. When the number of girls started increasing, their own flat was not enough to house everybody. They then rented a separate apartment where today 30 girls stays together.

The girls get busy warming up before the Kabaddi practice session begins at 5.30 am at the Palam Sports Club in Dwarka, Delhi. Neelam Sahu, the 50-year-old coach and physical education teacher at Palam Sports Club, has been imparting Kabaddi training to girls, ensuring that they become star players and self-dependent. There is no denying that it is enormously hard for girls to play the sport and find a way to make a living out of it. For women aspirants, the struggle begins at home. Girls are discouraged by parents from entering the sport regarded as a male preserve. “Parents have reservations about their daughters wearing shorts,” says 22-year-old Sita Arya from Sonipat, Haryana, who had a tough time convincing her parents to let her play kabaddi. Financial hardships are another massive deterrent.
Many girls come from an extremely financially poor household. Someone’s mother is a household maid, someone’s father sells food roadside. While the amount of hard work put in building a strong team has been above par, the sports club and the players need more financial support to only get better. ”We don't have better facilities here. The game is played on mats internationally. But we don't have mats. To play on mats, one needs to wear mat shoes but how much can we provide? If we get better facilities we can train more players to play for the country. If we are given better accommodation and a bigger ground we can train more players” say Ajay Sahu. The couple also struggles to provide a suitable diet to all the players. A player's diet primarily consists of four glasses of milk per day, however, they are only able to provide one glass of milk to each player per day. That barely meets the basic requirement.

“The players face a hard time training during winters. Playing barefoot on the cold muddy ground during winters is a big challenge. During rains, they face even more troubles as the girls cannot play on a wet ground. The game at the national level is played on a mat. We do not get mats at practice camps. The sport on the mat is extremely different from the one on the ground. If we compare, the performance on a mat and ground differs vastly. If we are provided mats for practice, our performance will improve further” says Bhawna Yadav, Junior Asian Silver medallist.
Apart from mats, the mat shoes are another crucial requirement. Neelam says that if they are provided more equipment and assisted financially, the results would improve radically. “Players wear mat shoes to play on mats. How many should we provide? Every few days their shoes wear-off. If the players are provided facilities like these, their game will improve manifold”, she adds.

The Sahu's are now facing financial challenges and need your support to prepare an able female kabaddi team in India. They need monetary assistance for better meals, training equipment and transportation to multiple tournaments. All funds donated go directly to cover such important expenses.

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