Quint Impact: MP Offers Shoes, Jerseys for TN’s Kabaddi Girls

Cricketers Suresh Raina and Gautam Gambhir have also pushed for donations for these young girls from Koovathur.

Updated
India
4 min read
The Quint Impact: DMK MP Dr Senthilkumar from Dharmapuri has offered the girls financial assistance for additional nutrition and to travel to other districts for tournaments .
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This Diwali, we at The Quint are thrilled at all the love and joy you’ve brought our way by lighting up the lives of others.

On 14 November, in a story titled ‘Neither Lack of Gear Nor COVID Keeps These TN Girls from Kabaddi’, we showed you the struggle of some feisty young girls from Koovathur in Tamil Nadu who are training for kabaddi despite having no funds. The girls also had to drop out of school for lack of money to pay fees.

Their kabaddi coach, 30-year-old Sathish Kumar lost his job as a school Physical Training teacher due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, he sells fish to earn a living and fund the girls’ training.

We’re delighted that our story has struck a chord with many, and we have been flooded with e-mails enquiring after the girls and offering financial help to them.

New Shoes, New Training Gear

DMK MP Dr Senthilkumar from Dharmapuri reached out to The Quint and has offered the girls financial assistance for additional nutrition and to travel to other districts for tournaments. He has also promised funds for higher education, assured custom-made jerseys and training gear for the team.

Dr Senthilkumar sponsored running shoes from Decathlon.
Dr Senthilkumar sponsored running shoes from Decathlon.
(Photo Courtesy: Smitha TK/ The Quint)
“I have assured complete funding to the girls to go and participate in competitions as nothing should deter them. Each of these girls have great ambitions in life. They want to become police officers, doctors, teachers... so with sports we can achieve these great things. These girls should pursue kabaddi as a career. Let sky be the limit!”
Dr Senthilkumar, Dharmapuri MP to The Quint

“It is a great sport where bravery and valour is displayed. These kids are strong and have great stamina. The local community is also very supportive but this is the first time girls are coming forward. It is heartening to know how Sathish has picked these girls and is training them,” he added.

On 15 November, we took the girls to a store, picked running shoes for them and placed an order for jerseys. The girls are now looking forward to training hard.

“Usually, thorns prick our feet when we run on the sand and that would hurt us. Now with shoes we won’t get hurt and can play very well,” said eight-year-old Harini.

Kabaddi is their ticket to higher education, employment and independence.
Kabaddi is their ticket to higher education, employment and independence.
(Photo Courtesy: Smitha TK/ The Quint)

A Kabaddi Academy for the Girls

Several parents from the same locality also reached out to Sathish, asking for their girls to be trained as well. He is now hoping to build a sports academy in the area so that he can train many more girls for free and empower them to become strong sportswomen.

Prominent regional channel, Puthiya Thalaimurai, has shared The Quint’s story in an article and urged people to donate and help secure the future of these young girls.

Puthiya Thalamurai has urged readers to contribute for The Quint’s story.
Puthiya Thalamurai has urged readers to contribute for The Quint’s story.
(Photo Courtesy: Puthiya Thalaimurai)

Suresh Raina, Gautam Gambhir Push for Donations

Indian cricketer Suresh Raina shared their story on Twitter and Instagram and urged people to donate and help them chase their dreams.

Suresh Raina has shared the kabaddi girls’ story on Instagram.
Suresh Raina has shared the kabaddi girls’ story on Instagram.
(Photo Courtesy: Suresh Raina/ Instagram)

Gautam Gambhir too, shared their story on Twitter and Instagram.

Cricketer Gautam Gambhir has shared the kabaddi girls’ story on Twitter.
Cricketer Gautam Gambhir has shared the kabaddi girls’ story on Twitter.
(Photo Courtesy: Gautam Gambhir/ Twitter)
Cricketer Gautam Gambhir has shared the kabaddi girls’ story on Instagram.
Cricketer Gautam Gambhir has shared the kabaddi girls’ story on Instagram.
(Photo Courtesy: Gautam Gambhir/ Instagram)

Bollywood actor Manisha Koirala too, shared the Dil Wali Diwali campaign on Twitter.

Actor Manisha Koirala has shared the kabaddi girls’ story on Twitter.
Actor Manisha Koirala has shared the kabaddi girls’ story on Twitter.
(Photo Courtesy: Manisha Koirala/ Twitter)

Besides bringing to light the struggle of the girls training for kabaddi, The Quint has also reported on the plight of two children in Dharavi who don’t know what the future holds after their COVID warrior father succumbed to the disease, and 15-year-old Subhan who quit school to earn for his family as they can no longer afford to pay the rent and manage household expenses due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

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