The emergence of professional leagues in various sports disciplines in India has allowed many athletes to believe that sport could be a viable career option. However there still lies a huge disparity between male and female development of sports. India's flagship cricket league the IPL still doesn't have a women's equivalent the same goes with the ISL and other sporting leagues. While steps are being taken to improve, the reality is a far cry from what we currently have in Europe or premier Asian countries as well.
Still passionate about the game
Poulami Adhikari is one such example who has been forced to give up her dream of being a fulltime International footballer and take up a job as a food delivery executive.
Poulami has played both nationally and internationally but has been forced to put her sporting career on hold and work with the food delivery app Zomato to supplement her daily needs and make ends meet.
Apart from her financial struggles, injuries have played a role in limiting her time on the playing field due to the lack of proper recovery and rehabilitation facilities as an athlete. Despite putting in 12-hour shifts as a delivery executive, Poulami still tries to find couple of hours in the day to practice, still harbouring hopes that she might one day wear the national kit again.
In an interview that has now gone viral on social media, Poulami reveals how her father now works a s driver, but doesn't earn enough to take care of his family and thus she has to supplement her family's income with a full time job.
The 24-year-old lost her mother as an infant and is a 3rd year undergraduate student at the Charuchandra College. She was raised at her maternal uncle's house in Behala by her aunt Ashima Patra. She revealed that when she is working the night shift, it generally tends to end past midnight.
2016 Homeless World Cup in Scotland
Poulami represented India at the 2016 Homeless World Cup in Scotland. The Homeless World Cup is an annual association football tournament organized by the Homeless World Cup Foundation, a social organization that advocates the end of homelessness through the sport of association football. The organization puts together an annual football tournament where teams of homeless people from various countries compete.
The AIFF has since contacted her so there stiil lies hope of resurrecting her dreams.
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