Members of Jammu and Kashmir's first women's football team on Tuesday met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and apprised him of the difficulties being faced by sportspersons in the state and sought his help. During the half-an-hour meeting, the team members conveyed to the home minister that if proper sports infrastructure comes up in Jammu and Kashmir, youths can be motivated to nourish their talents and bring laurels into the state, keeping aside terrorism and other unlawful activities.
"When we told the home minister that Jammu and Kashmir lacks sports infrastructure, he immediately called up Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and requested her to do the needful to help us. He also told us that Rs 100 crore has already sanctioned (under PM's special package) to the state," captain of the team, Afshan Ashiq, told PTI.
Afshan, who hails from Srinagar, currently plays for a club in Mumbai.
Manager of the JK women football team Tsering Angmo said sports infrastructure in border areas is very poor and needs urgent attention so that youths could be weaned away from terrorism and unlawful acts like stone pelting.
"If there are proper infrastructure, youths can take up sports to nourish their talents and no one can brainwash anyone. No one will join terrorism or indulge in stone pelting," Angmo, who hails from Ladakh, said.
Both Afshan and Angmo thanked Singh for giving attention to their problems and for speaking to the chief minister, immediately asking her to do the needful.
Later, the home minister in a tweet said: "Met the young and energetic girls of J&K's first ever women football team. They are highly motivated & driven when it comes to football".
"Playing the role of new age 'Gender Benders' these girls are setting an example for others to follow. I wish them success and a great future," Singh said.