Succour in sight for poverty-stricken former woman footballer from Odisha

Bhubaneswar: For former Indian footballer Tanuja Baghe, the days of struggle to eke out a living is finally going to be over as Odisha government has initiated steps to provide her with a job.

Electronics, IT, Sports and Youth Services Minister Tusharkanti Behera today directed officials to provide immediate assistance to the 29-year-old footballer who is meeting her ends by herding goats and working as housemaid.

After the incident was reported, the Minister sought a report from Jharsuguda Collector owing which he directed the department to initiate steps in this regard.

Furthermore, the District Collector Jyoti Ranjan Pradhan also visited her house and promised that a job will be provided to her.

Notably, the tribal girl had represented state and India as early as 14. After representing state and nation in football as goalkeeper and rugby, she had to cut short her career due to finances.

Since then, Tanuja – a mother of a six-year-old girl child – has been fighting a bitter struggle with life for sustenance.

Though she was provided with a job of a homeguard based on her achievements in sports, her name was to be struck out due to prolonged absenteeism for around four years, government report said.

I quit the job as the remuneration was very low to sustain, she was quoted as saying to media.

A former district collector had helped her fetch a job of football trainer in a private school. But she had to quit it as she received salary of Rs 3000 a month instead of the promised Rs 8000. Besides, commuting 15 km to the school was a tedious task for her.

The only silver lining is the ration card by which she avails the subsidized food grains for feeding the family of three. She doesn’t even has a house provided to the people belonging to economically weaker sections of the society.

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