New Delhi: Indian women footballer Oinam Bembem Devi, who has been conferred with this year’s Arjuna Award, says that she dedicates the prestigious award to every woman in the country. Speaking in an exclusive conversation with http://www.the-aiff.com, Bembem said, “It is the one of the highest recognition for any sportsperson in India. Right from childhood, I have heard about the Arjuna Award.”
“No sportsperson ever plays for any recognition but at times, it can be so satisfying. My sacrifice over the past two decades has not gone waste,” she added.
Bembem, nicknamed the ‘Durga of Indian Football’, is among 17 sportspersons who will be receiving the prestigious award from the President of India on August 29.
“I dedicate this to all the women in the country who overcome hurdles every day in the sociological context to excel in their respective fields,” she said.
“This award is for all of them as much it is for my mom, all my teammates, and coaches. I also need to thank AIFF for the continuous support,” she added.
When asked as to how her award will help in enhancing women’s football, Bembem said her award will encourage parents to send the girl child to play football as now they understand that “you can win an Arjuna Award by playing women’s football in India”.
Bembem, who made her International debut in 1995, bowed out on a high after winning the SAF Games Gold Medal in Shillong in February 2015. She has hence been closely associated with All India Football Federation (AIFF) in spreading awareness about women’s football in India and actively involved as a scout and brand ambassador for FIFA Live Your Goals, India.