The Hush Post: A woman football player who represented India at international level is forced to run a roadside tea stall in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal, due to sheer poverty. 26-year-old Kalpana Roy still coaches around 30 boys twice a day and dreams of playing for the country again. Kalpana was injured during a Women’s League match conducted by the Indian Football Association. The incident cut short her stint as a footballer.
Kalpana said, “It took a year for me to overcome the injury. No one helped me during this period. Since then I have been running a tea stall.”
Kalpana’s father used to run a tea stall but owing to deteriorating health, he has been confined to a bed at his home.
“I was called for trials for the senior national team but I couldn’t go due to financial constraints. I have no place to live in Kolkata. And even if I manage to go, who will take care of my family?” said a distraught Kalapana.
Kalpana is the youngest of five sisters. All the four are married and one of them stays with her. Her mother passed away four years back. Kalpana played four international matches as a Under-19 player in 2008.
Today she coaches 30 boys twice a day. She trains them in the morning before opening her stall at 10 am. She then closes her stall at 4 pm, coaches the students for two hours and then again opens her stall.
“The boys’ club pays me Rs. 3000 per month which is very important for me,” she says. Kaplana says she is fit to play for the country and experienced to be a coach too. “I can contribute in both the ways. I just need a job so that I can feed my family,” she added.