Home Jharkhand 5 Jharkhand women hockey players leave for 3-week program in USA

5 Jharkhand women hockey players leave for 3-week program in USA

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State committed for uplift of sportsperson: CM

Ranchi, June 20: Five Jharkhand women hockey players will participate in a three-week sports and cultural exchange programme in the United States of America from June 24 to July 13 this year.

The players – Pundi Saru and Juhi Kumari from Khunti district, Priyanka Kumari from Gumla and Henrita Toppo and Purnima Neti from Simdega district were scheduled to go for the exchange programme in 2020 but the event was postponed in view of Covid-19 pandemic.

The Chief Minister said that the State Government was committed to the development of sports and sportspersons. Many schemes have been started in this regard. Special initiatives are being taken to identify the talented players and hone their skills. Arrangements are being made for the best quality training of the players. Especially in sports like hockey and football, players coming from rural areas should get a chance to progress. They got a chance to participate in various competitions. All possible steps are being taken for this. Whatever the needs of the players are, they will be fulfilled.

“ It is our endeavor that Jharkhand should emerge as a power in the world of sports and make a different identity in the country and the world,” a statement issued by chief minister’s secretariat said.

The Chief Minister told the girls that when they come back from America, he would meet them and know their experiences, so that efforts can be made to get more such opportunities in the days to come.

“Five top performers of the second edition of the East India Women’s Hockey and Leadership camp which wrapped up on February 1, 2020, will participate in a three-week sports and cultural exchange immersion programme in the US designed by Middlebury from June 24-July 13, 2022,” the statement added.

Pundi Saru, daughter of a labourer recently completed her 10th standard while Juhi Kumari had a difficult childhood with her father being an alcoholic and mother working as a daily wage earner. Priyanka Kumari’s father being a patient of paralysis, the entire responsibility to sustain livelihood for the family fell on her mother’s shoulder. Priyanka’s passion for the sport led her to make a hockey stick out of a bamboo stick, with the help of which she practiced hard.

Henrita Toppo from Simdega too faced much difficulty as her mother works as a labourer to sustain livelihood while Purnima Neti, also from the same district comes from a poor financial background.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, who interacted with the young hockey players selected for three-week talent exchange programme in Middlebury College, in Vermont, USA felicitated them.

The US Consulate Kolkata in partnership with NGO Shakti Vahini, and with the support of Jharkhand Hockey Federation, South-Eastern Railway, Jharkhand Police, and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural affairs (ECA) had launched the East India Hockey Project in 2018 to promote empowerment and foster youth leadership and development among young girls and women of Jharkhand.

The project aimed to empower adolescent girls for community leadership, combat human trafficking and gender-based violence.

“In its second edition in January 2020, the project was led by 16 Middlebury College players who travelled to Jharkhand to provide field hockey training to 100 young girls coming from different rural districts of the state,” the statement said.

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