Jaideep Deogharia,-RANCHI: Tribal teenage girls of Jharkhand who once scripted history by bagging a bronze in Gasteiz Cup and making it to the final round of coveted Donosti cup in San Sebastian in Spain earlier June this year hosted US Ambassador, Nancy Powell on her maiden visit to Jharkhand on Monday.
It was indeed a great moment for the young footballers and their US coach, Franz Gastler when Powell made Yuwa, the NGOs destination her first stoppage in India. Powell holds the highest rank in the United States Foreign Service, with the title of Career Ambassador.
The tribal girls from Jharkhand were named ‘supergoats’ in Spain by the organisers who were surprised to see them play and win against their counterparts from several dozen European countries where football is a household name.
Powell during her hour long visit to village Hutup under Oremanjhi block of Ranchi district interacted with the Yuwa girls and was impressed with the path-breaking work of American Franz Gastler’s NGO. “Through team sport Yuwa has provided a platform for young women to gain confidence to make a change in their World,” an official of the US consulate said.
The official note further read “Team sport serves as a powerful platform to promote health, education and improved livelihoods among the hardest to reach, most at-risk group in the community, the group that has the least opportunity but is the most important agent for change-young women. Yuwa uses soccer as an instrument of social change.”
The US Ambassador was not just impressed with the way change has been introduced to the life and living style of the tribal girls after being exposed to the world of soccer but also expressed her willingness to take on the effort further.
US consulate office in Kolkata said that last year under the Youth Exchange Programme of the US government funded sports promotion initiative two Yuwa girls were invited there to attend.
Sources in Yuwa said that the girls might be invited to play a soccer tournament in the US recently for which the young footballers expressed their desire before the US Ambassador.