Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Yuwa Team from Jharkhand won the 3rd Prize in Under 14 Years Donosti Football cup

Posted by Siva Kumar Ari
The under 14-years all women soccer team, Yuwa from Jharkhand which flew to Spain on June 29 has won the third position in the Gasteiz Cup.

The 18-member Yuwa soccer team led by Franz Gastler, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the organization toured San Sebastian for the Donosti Cup and Victoria Gasteiz for the Gasteiz Cup.

Yuwa Team from Jharkhand won the third place in Under 14 year Donsoti Football Cup
Yuwa Team from Jharkhand won the third place in Under 14 year Donosti Football Cup 



In Donosti Cup in San Sebastian, Spain´s biggest football tournament had over 400 teams participating from across the globe, Yuwa soccer team girls made it out of the group phase with wins against Anorga KKE B (Spain) and Amara Berri KE (Spain), and a loss against Wisconsin International (USA) before falling to Santa Teresa (Spain).

Few days back, as a billion plus India slept, a handful of tribal girls proudly held aloft a trophy they won in their maiden entry in a football tournament in far-flung Spain. It was the night of July 13. Hundreds of fire crackers lit the skies as the girls screamed Vande Mataram – their battle cry – for being placed third in the Gasteiz Cup, the world’s best testing ground for teenager football in Victoria Gastiez, also popular as Europe’s Green Capital.

They were the same girls who were slapped, kicked and made to sweep floors by arrogant bureaucrats in Jharkhand when the girls asked for birth certificates, a necessity to apply for passports. But they eventually managed their passports, thanks to a strapping American, Franz Gastler, who pushed the cases of the girls with mandarins of the Ministry of External Affairs in the Indian Capital.

Based on Jharkhand, Yuwa is a non-Government Organization which used football as a vehicle to fight girl trafficking and child marriages in one of the most under-developed parts in the country. As per latest reports Jharkhand tops the list in human trafficking in India and it is a state where more than 60% of the female population is illiterate. Through Yuwa girls in Jharkhand villages are brought into football teams where they learn to take care of themselves as well as each other. The often attend studies in Yuwa clubs and in a state where girls are often married off by the time they turn 15, participants in Yuwa teams, as per their website, are never married before they reach the legal age. Franz Gastler, an American citizen who has been working in a tribal village for past four years, was an English teacher for poor children when he was requested by the girls to teach football and he eventually became the football coach for “Yuwa India” a U14 team built solely with girls from local villages. Yuwa’s reach has also increased over the years as now they boast of over 200 girls under their wing, having started with 15 in October 2009. 13 year old Pushpa Toppo, a Yuwa girl, has even represented India in AFC U14 tournament. In 2012, Yuwa became the first organization from India to win the prestigious Nike Gamechangers Award.

Yuwa Team from Jharkhand won the third place in Under 14 year Donsoti Football Cup
Yuwa Team from Jharkhand won the third place in Under 14 year Donosti Football Cup 

Yuwa Team from Jharkhand won the third place in Under 14 year Donsoti Football Cup
Yuwa Team from Jharkhand won the third place in Under 14 year Donosti Football Cup 

Yuwa Team from Jharkhand won the third place in Under 14 year Donsoti Football Cup
Yuwa Team from Jharkhand won the third place in Under 14 year Donosti Football Cup 

Yuwa Team from Jharkhand won the third place in Under 14 year Donsoti Football Cup
Yuwa Team from Jharkhand won the third place in Under 14 year Donosti Football Cup 

Yuwa Team from Jharkhand won the third place in Under 14 year Donsoti Football Cup
Yuwa Team from Jharkhand won the third place in Under 14 year Donosti Football Cup 

Yuwa Team from Jharkhand won the third place in Under 14 year Donsoti Football Cup
Yuwa Team from Jharkhand won the third place in Under 14 year Donosti Football Cup 

Yuwa Team from Jharkhand won the third place in Under 14 year Donsoti Football Cup
Yuwa Team from Jharkhand won the third place in Under 14 year Donosti Football Cup 

Yuwa Team from Jharkhand won the third place in Under 14 year Donsoti Football Cup
Yuwa Team from Jharkhand won the third place in Under 14 year Donosti Football Cup 


He was a lone ranger in his efforts. The girls were lovingly titled the Supergoats by the organizers in Spain the moment they saw the girls playing barefoot in practice matches on arrival.
Why?

The girls had limited football gear and could not take the risk of tampering it before the tournament. They were overawed by international teams in the first tournament, the Donosti Cup, but came to their own in the second tournament.

Offering a consolation prize for the third team – winner of a match between losing semi-finalists – was a mere formality for the organizers. But for the girls, it was a giant leap into global soccer from their impoverished Rukka village near Ranchi, considered one of the world’s epicenters of child marriage and human trafficking.

As soon as the announcement was made for the prize distribution ceremony, the girls rushed into their dressing room and returned, some barefoot, wearing red-bordered white saris, their traditional festive dress. Many had their plastic flowers in their hairs.

And when they huddled together after the mandatory photo session, some wept inconsolably because they had almost given up their hopes to participate in this tournament.

“They were over the moon. It was their night,” said Gastler of the girls, who subsist on less than a dollar a day. For a country low on soccer, this was - arguably - good news for the mandarins of the game. But no one cared. All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel was not aware of the girls’ superlative achievement, nor was the country’s new sports minister Jitendra Singh.

“We could not sleep that night (July 13),” says Rinky Kumari, 13, captain, Supergoats. Once she bunked her school helped her mother do household chores. Today, thanks to football, everyone knows her name in the village.

She says she remembered the days she was slapped and sweep floors when she went to the Panchayat Office get birth certificates for her passport. “That is the pain of being a tribal girl in India. I do not remember the slap, I remember the Cup,” says Rinky. For her, and her teammates, it means a lot.

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17 comments:

  1. Awesome Girls....You have Proved Yourself and also Our country INDIA. Love you Sisters.....You can be called Sisters of our Nation As Gandhi called as Father of our Nation...!!!!Glad to Hear this News!!!!!JAI HIND!!!!!

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  2. So proud of u gals.... Wish I have daughters like u who represent India and make us proud. Bravo.

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  3. Dear Editor, They were placed third in the Gasteiz cup, not the Donosti cup.

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  4. Congrat.. Yuwa Team made India proud. Keep doing good work. Best wishes.

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  5. Congrats girls. you made women and our country proud. Well done!!!!

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  6. Wel done sisters... We r proud of u..

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  7. God Bless Franz Gastler for his efforts and well done girls!!

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  8. waiting comments from All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel.

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  9. thanks to a strapping American, Franz Gastler, who pushed the cases of the girls with mandarins of the Ministry of External Affairs in the Indian Capital.

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  10. Any comments from 'Bidi King' of India about why the girl was slapped and sweep floors when she went to the Panchayat Office to get birth certificates for her passport.

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  11. congrats sisters.. as i am in jharkhand how much i am proud. They were not recognized. they have to be recognized so that we can achieve more excellence from them

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  12. many many congratulation sister. Jai Jharkhand

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  13. congrts girls n all d best for future ...... if our goverment give u the facilites then u will given a better result

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  14. Wow amazing girls, shows true human spirit that shines in the face of adversity !! Hope the best for your future and thanks to Franz for making their dreams come true.

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  15. Bravo girls...you all made India proud !!

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  16. you have proved yourselves and created a history in the Indian sports. so proud of you all. I am really going to see your game and show everybody.. you have made India Proud.
    Congratulation and BIG BADHAI TO ALL SISTERS.

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  17. carmein Deonarine -Hosein.15 August 2013 at 13:57

    Hi I am in tears reading about this story. The Indian government has a lot of work to do to make things that people from the west take for granted ie getting a birth certificate and treating children with respect and dignity.

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