From Ajparagaon in Kalsindur, Mymensingh to the pages of history

Bangladesh women’s football team created a new history by becoming the champion of women’s SAFF championship for the first time after defeating the hosts Nepal 3-1. Besides the title, all the individual and team awards of the tournament went to the Tigresses. In the entire tournament, the girls of Bangladesh caught the ball in the opponent’s net 23 times.

The home of these 8 women’s football players who created history in Bangladesh football is in Dhobaura Upazila Kalsindur area of ​​Mymensingh. Apart from becoming star footballers from Ajparagaon, they are now the pride of the entire country. But the road behind this journey was not easy at all.

In 2011 Bangmata Begum Fazilatunnessa Mujib Gold Cup Tournament for Primary School Students was announced. The news came to the ears of Mofizuddin, an assistant teacher of Government Primary School in Upazila Dhobaura Kalsindu on the India-Bangladesh border in Mymensingh district. After that, he started making teams for his school to send to the tournament.

Then fourth grader Sanjida Akhter joined the team formed by the school for the Bangmata Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib Gold Cup tournament. After that, Maria Manda and Shioli Azim also joined the team. After seeing these three, Marzia Akhter, Shamchunnahar, Tahura, Sajeda, Shamchunnahar Jr. were encouraged. These 8 players who started their journey from primary school are now playing for the national team.

Training of female footballers of Kalsindur Government Primary School Dhaka Tribune

After making the team for the tournament, Mofizuddin started training himself. On the other hand, Minti Rani Sheel, Headmistress of Kalsindu Government Primary School took the responsibility of taking care of the players. Kalsindur Primary School participated in the tournament which was held for the first time in 2012 and became the runner-up at the national level. Sanjida, Maria, Tahurara did not sink into despair but started preparing anew even if they could not become champions.

The parents of the village were conservative and could not hear of letting the girls play football. It took a lot of effort to convince the parents. Mofizuddin’s start was so challenging. Off the field as well as on the field, there was quite a lot of adversity.

Mofizuddin said, after going to the field for training with the girls, many made fun of them. During the practice, there was a crowd of eager people around the field. Many people there mocked me. But many have come forward to help. I wanted to answer people’s sarcastic comments on the field, not on the face. Besides studying, the girls practice on the field after school holidays and on days off. Success eventually comes after hard work.

Mofizuddin’s efforts were not in vain. Kalsindur Primary School won the second edition of the Bangmata Begum Fazilatunnessa Mujib Gold Cup tournament organized in 2013, despite failing to win the first time. After that, Sanjida, Mariara came to the attention of local administration and sports personalities. The facilities are gradually increasing.

The following year in 2014, the Bangladesh Women’s team won the AFC Under-14 Regional Championship. Maria Manda and Shamsunnahar Jr. contributed significantly to that title. Seeing this success, the number of female team members of Kalsindur school increased day by day as other students came forward.

Minti Rani Sheel, head teacher of Kalsindu Government Primary School, said that the main problem in the beginning was shyness. It took time to overcome this problem. But we have been able to remove the fear of public shame and bring girls to the playground. Now we are proud. I am witness to a history. Currently, the women’s football team practices regularly at the school.

Bangladesh women’s football team player Sanjida Akhtar’s parents/Dhaka Tribune

Sanjida’s father Liaqat Ali said, I allowed her to play football because of her interest and teachers’ words. The villagers did not take it well at first. Later when the name-calling of female footballers spread, it was no longer a problem.

Shamsunnahar Junior scored the first goal for Bangladesh in the final of Women’s SAFF Championship as a substitute. Shamsunnahar’s father Nekbar Mia said, Monday (September 19) when I was sitting in front of the TV watching the game, there was a tension in my mind. When the girl scores a goal for the team in the final, the heart fills with joy. I am proud of my daughter’s success.

Due to the advancement of women’s football, the name of Kalsindur village in Mymensingh spread across the country and abroad. The football girls’ fame brought electricity to this neglected village bordering the foothills of the Garo Hills. The roads are paved. Thanks to them, Kalsindur School and College has been officialized. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also gave monetary donations along with the reception of these girls.

The stories of these girls are recorded in the textbooks of class XI of higher secondary level. There is a special lesson in the textbook entitled “The Unbeaten Girls”. The text describes the success stories of girls from poor families at the foothills of Garo Hills. The biographies of Sanjida, Maria, Tahura, Shamsunnahar, Shiuli Azim, Najma Akhtar, Maziya Akhtar are recorded.

In this regard Mala Rani Sarkar, assistant professor of Kalsindur Government School and College, said, “We are very happy and proud that our girls’ names are included in the national textbook.”

The article is in Bengali

Tags: Ajparagaon Kalsindur Mymensingh pages history

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