"The state government has decided to help the girls. Each member of the team will be given Rs 21,000 in cash and a football stadium will be constructed on their demand," said Hemant Soren. (Agencies)
Against all odds, a bunch of 18 under-14 girls from Ranchi won the bronze medal at the Gasteiz Cup in Spain on July 13. The tribal girls were representing Yuwa India, an NGO founded by a 30-year-old American Franz Gastler.
Moved by success of the Jharkhand girls, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) is planning to tap talent in the country's tribal areas. These girls were reportedly humiliated, slapped and made to sweep floors when they went to the Panchayat office to get birth certificates for their passports.
AIFF president Prafel Patel said in New Delhi that the federation's women's committee headed by Sara Pilot, wife of Minister of State for Communications and IT Sachin Pilot, met on Thursday to discuss the issue. They also made plans to help the girls from Jharkhand and tap talent in tribal areas.
Sara Pilot is also a known social worker and her NGO, CEQUIN (Centre for Equality and Inclusion), works for the empowerment of women.
"Our women's committee has already met and we are working on a plan to help the girls and tap talent in tribal areas," said Patel, who is also Union Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.
Patel said that the AIFF should not be blamed for the ordeals of the girls because they never approached the federation for help and the tournament was also not approved by it.
"It was a malicious campaign against the AIFF and it's totally baseless to bring the AIFF into this. The tournament the girls participated was not approved by us nor did we know about their participation," Patel said.
"The state government has decided to help the girls. Each member of the team will be given Rs 21,000 in cash and a football stadium will be constructed on their demand," said Hemant Soren.