Story of Amrita Kumari, India U-16 Captain

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By Debayan Mukherjee,
AIFF Media Team


DHAKA: Amrita Kumari did not have power at home when she left for the India camp in Ahmedabad. Exactly two months and a week on, the India U-16 Women’s National Team captain was shying away from flickering flash lights from every nook and corner.


“I have seen this in TV only,” Amrita told moments after she became the sudden cynosure of all eyes at the gala media gathering for the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship China 2015 Qualifiers Pre Tournament Media Interaction.


Amrita being the skipper was needed for a group photograph involving captains of all five teams in Group B. A late request from photographers of the local media made her arrive late. Before the group click, she was made to feel like her favourite Bolly heroine by a band of digital single lens reflex (DSLR) holders.


Television, on which she has experienced such frenzy in the past mostly for B-town biggies, is also a luxury at home. “So I watch TV at a friend’s place. But this I have only seen happening to filmstars. I felt special.”


Out of the mundane was this girl from Siwan district in Bihar. Life there is spent mostly in the dark with the only hope of making it big by playing the game that is beautiful.


“Electricity is a big problem at home,” she complains. “We mostly live in the dark. But football is my hope. My family supports me too.”


It was in 2012 when Amrita, egged on by her ‘Sir’ local coach Sanjay Pathak, had taken part in the U-17 Nationals. “We (Bihar) lost to Nagaland in the final 1-0. That was the first time I played I any kind of competition.


“That led to the U-16 National Team camp call up in Ahmedabad. I got selected for the tournament (AFC U-14 Girls Regional Championship 2013 for the South and Central region) in Sri Lanka but getting a passport was a real problem.”


For a daughter of a vegetable seller in Gurgaon, it is no child’s play to bear all the expenses that tag along with pursuing any passion nowadays.


“Sir (Sanjay Pathak) has helped bear a lot of my costs till now,” informs Amrita.


This is the first time that she has been made the captain owing to her stellar displays at the heart of the Indian defense. “I feel proud to be the Indian Captain. My mother goes around telling this to everyday in our locality. My grandpa is the one always motivating me.


“I want to represent the country at the senior level. I want to earn the respect for my family. Make my father proud.


“I have worked really hard to come here. The road is still long.”


Amrita is waiting with bated breath to lead the side out on Friday against Iran. She is also eagerly looking forward to one more thing.


“Returning home to meet my father (who is in town for three months) after becoming the captain of India and sharing all that is happening here with me.”


It won’t matter whether the Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited (BSPHCL) will be kind to Amrita or not when she finally reaches home. Her bagful of stories would do the needful.

Posted on : Thursday October 16, 2014