Today we are going to talk about the brave girl named Neeraj Gurjar, who has come back to life after winning the battle against cancer.
This brave Football Girl hails from a small village called Hasiyawas, in Ajmer district of the state of Rajasthan in India. She was living happily and dreaming high about her career in life but there was a big exam waiting for her. She started going to Village school saw kids playing or running around her, this developed her interest in games and she also started playing football after looking at her senior girls playing the same. There she found, some female activists from the Mahila Jan Adhikar Samiti (Female People’s Rights Committee) who used to train these girls to play football.
One fine day they asked these young girls to go along with them to participate in a football tournament but this was the time when they could not reply without permission of the parents and parents got afraid and suspicious about the fact that these ladies might take away their kids to somewhere for human trafficking or do something wrong with their kids. Therefore they were not able to say yes, though these girls continued playing football in the school and continue their studies. After some time these ladies could win the trust of the villagers and these girls could participate in many state and regional level tournaments, their team was invited to participate in the selection tournament for the National level games but, due to covid-19 situation, they could not do so.
As they were playing football, now one more problem occurred, that was of wearing shorts though they were practicing in suit and wore shorts only in the final tournament. Years passed by and now they are allowed to wear shorts (convenient to their game) and nobody bothers about what they are wearing as they have accepted football as part of their lives. Then comes another problem that on the village ground guys were not letting these girls practice, therefore the negotiation took place and hours were divided between the two.
After they practice they go home and study, to fulfill their dream of being an IPS officers. Therefore, Neeraj was preparing for the admission test of Navodaya school but, unfortunately, the real story started now, when she started feeling pain in her feet and legs this was the time when she was worried as why it was happening with her and she started taking painkillers; while hiding from her parents but when that dozes increased the shopkeeper lady told to her parents and they took her to the doctor in Ajmer, there one operation took place but the pain could not stop, rather it increased. As a result, doctors suggested her parents to take her to the cancer hospital in Jaipur. She was taken to the Mahavir Cancer Hospital in the Capital City and cancer was diagnosed.
Though, none disclosed the fact to her, but the name of the hospital itself. She realised that the real fight of her life had started now but still the girl dealt it with courage and as football has made her learn the spirit to struggle till the end moment. The little soul had to go through four chemotherapies then one operation and again four chemotherapies, the journey was quite painful but she bore it all and kept going with the time. Also, she was so lively even in the hospital that she kept the moral of her parents and fellow patients up by not showing the pain and making the environment so light by telling stories, making fun. Everyone started calling her Football Girl. She is the one who was already synonym of football in her Village.
Now she is fine but still she is not able to run properly, the doctor said she will be able to play again, I hope the same too, but it is never final until it happens. This makes her start questioning herself. This is the time when she needs encouragement and support because time many times she feels emotionally weak when she looks at other people playing and running around. The NGO sisters are are continuously meeting her and her friends also visiting her everyday almost.
Now, I want to disclose another achievement of this brave girl- she has secured 77% marks in the secondary board exam this year; even though she was totally devastated due to the pain she had to go through and with her broken dream to play football, but she was able to maintain the score which is a dream for many people without any problem.
Her Parents also had to go through a lot of problems because of their daughter’s operation and therapies it was really costly for this poor family; but they were aiming only thing i.e. to save their daughter’s life even if their small possessions are sold out. I really salute these parents to take this decision and have the spirit while being from the place where daughters are not liked much and their lives do not matter for many in the area.
Neeraj’s team members have also scored 90% to 95% marks in their senior secondary board exams this year but the problem with these warriors is that they belong to really poor families who cannot afford even for their studies, therefore, they have to think twice before taking any decision about further studies or playing in future.
Also, I want to tell you that 50% of this team has been engaged in their childhood only but Neeraj and her team has decided neither to be part of any child marriage in the locality nor to get married before they attain the legal age of getting married. They are aware of the horrifying results of child marriage and health impacts. Now they are spreading it everywhere.
They have a system of Bawani that means people from entire 52 villages there, will marry off their kids in a group marriage ceremony in the younger age. This is why Neeraj was also forced by her family members to get married at the early days but she managed to convince her parents not to do that for her and for her younger brother and now they are able to continue their studies and free to get married when they are on their own.
I find myself lucky to be spoken to Neeraj and her friends. She told me that now after talking to many people from a few NGOs/ Women organization, she is thinking about not to cry anymore about the circumstances and to go for some different game like chess or anything which she can play while sitting and also to prepare for Indian Administrative Services i.e. through the same examination she wanted to go for, but the service is different. But, she can still do good things and her gole from IPS shifts to IAS as in the IPS training there are some provisions where hard physical exercise may be required where she may not participate if her healthy is not fully alright as earlier.
I appreciate her spirit too accept the problems and not to sit down, rather to go ahead with her head high. This Brave Football Girl has one more hobby i.e. Drawing, she is doing that right now. Also, I would like to tell you about one great step taken by this brave team in the year of 2016 when this Village school was till upper primary standard and there were 182 students with only two teachers, which was a gross negligence on the part of the administration. Therefore they have protested together to make demand for more teachers for their proper studies and when the government did not listen to them, they applied for the transfer certificate collectively and locked the school. This finally shaken the heads of administration and they sent more teachers to the school.
Their continuous efforts have resulted in the upgradation of their school this year till secondary level. This shows their spirit to struggle for their future and great zeal to study. No doubts they belong to poor families but their open and strong minds have the potential to touch the skies, even if they get a little opportunity or support to go ahead without looking back just for earning livelihood for the families somehow. They are the future of our nation with the potential to make a change in the society which they want to see. I hope for the best for these brave Girls in future.
Friends! Now, I want to disclose that I have written this story here with two objectives in my mind, as follows—
First, is to inspire my readers
Second, is to seek any sort of help, you can or want to do, for these Brave girls so that anyhow they can get support to continue their studies and dream of these football girls in future.
*if you can support please comment here, we will be in touch with you.
Thank you so much!!