Fatima received a football from PM at FIFA U-17 opening ceremony
Samina Fatima, a Ladakhi girl from the remote Nubra area, now has a goal in her life — to become a high-quality footballer and represent the country at the international level.
Fatima, who walks 3 km to reach school, believes she has gained this confidence after receiving a football from Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the inaugural ceremony of FIFA U-17 World Cup at the packed Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on October 6.
She is a Class VII student of Government Girls Middle School at the remote Diskit in Nurba, located at an altitude of 10,315 feet.
Fatima was selected for the inaugural ceremony under the Mission XI Million, the biggest school sport outreach programme driven by the Prime Minister’s vision of making football the “sport of choice” in India.
This Ladakhi girl was among the 11 students selected under the programme which was envisaged to reach out to over 37 cities and 12,000 schools across 29 states of the country. Fatima is the third among her six siblings and her father is a labourer in Nubra.
“I had never dreamt that I would get the opportunity to meet the Prime Minister and get a football from him as a gift. It was the first time that I boarded a plane and went outside Ladakh. Earlier I used to play both shot put and football, but now it is my ambition to play football for the country at the international level,” Fatima told Kashmir Post over phone from her school in Nubra.
The young girl said she was happy that she got the opportunity to be a part of the inaugural ceremony of FIFA U-17 World Cup, which is being held for the first time in India.
Konchok Yangol, the headmistress of Fatima’s school who accompanied her for the event in New Delhi, said the young girl had a lot of potential and her participation in the recent event was a morale booster for her.
“Fatima belongs to a very poor family but has a lot of talent. She was selected in August by a team of footballers who had watched her game. She was excited about receiving a football from the Prime Minister and watching the match between India and USA on the inaugural day,” Yangol said.