Tanzeela is going to Baroda and she will play football there. "In the town where I am from, it isn't normal for a young woman to leave her home to learn how to play rugby," says Irtiqa Ayoub, 23, who has become one of Kashmiri rugby's leading lights. Afshan is … Yet some fear this new-found focus on sport unwisely redirects young people's focus away from the struggle against Indian control. The game of touch that ends the training is refereed by Mehru Nisa, 17, who is in her second year of playing. The film was directed by Debamitra Biswal. I used to train them at the TRC Ground.”, "Right now one of my colleagues at Unique Football Girls, Masood, he is taking care of the girls. I started my football education under Abdullah Dar but now he's also aged. On Sunday, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti asked the students to focus on their education by making the elders address more significant problems, as the people of Jammu and Kashmir have to decide between peace and violence. Before pursuing her playing career outside the state, she used to coach the girls there and that was a massive struggle in itself. Incidentally, the chief minister had yesterday met 21-year-old football coach Afshan Ashiq. Her story, however, has a silver lining. Ramadan, Islam's holiest month, is a difficult time of year to get people out to training. She said there are many talented girls and all they need is game time and the experience of tournaments. “We have this mentality that girls can't play and I used to tell them (the J&K association) that give me a ground anywhere, I will train them and they used to say we can't give you an open ground.” After a lot of struggle, she managed to get the TRC ground from the government to train girls. Afshan Ashiq: From stone-pelter to captain of J&K women's football team 21-year-old Afshan Ashiq and team met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday. Then one day I was having dinner with dad and he looked at me and said, 'why are you crying?' Athiya’s performance in the film was well appreciated. Football has made sure many girls come out of the state to study so that they can play the game. CM also met Afshan Ashiq, whose photo became the new defining image of stone pelters in the valley "When it comes to J&K, I feel very sad. From stone pelter in Kashmir to professional footballer: Story of Afshan Ashiq, participating in PM's Fit India Dialogue - This female footballer from Jammu and Kashmir is among the … Since her face was covered, Afshan didn't think people would know that it was she who threw the stones. Incidentally, the chief minister had on Saturday met 21-year-old football coach Afshan Ashiq. Today Ms Ashiq is the captain for the J&K state women's squad and goalie for a Mumbai team in the Indian Women's League. Incidentally, the chief minister had yesterday met 21-year-old football coach Afshan Ashiq. Hyderabad: Observing that Telangana was a "symbol of communal harmony," Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan on Friday warned that those trying to create communal tensions in the state would be suppressed with an iron hand. She said her coach from J&K, Satpal Singh, had asked her to sign from Kolhapur. Meet Afshan Ashiq — the girl from Kashmir once infamous as a stone-pelter. Also read: Afshan Ashiq: Fighting the tag of a stone pelter through football. Many of the girls aren't eating, Mr Botta says, and with the sun still high in the afternoon sky, are beginning to flag in anticipation of the fast-breaking iftar meal. Incidentally, the chief minister on Saturday met 21-year-old football coach Afshan Ashiq. On the face of it, Ms Nisa's dream of playing for India, like Ms Ashiq's and Ms Ayoub's, may seem like a betrayal of Kashmir's drive for independence. This is when some photographers covering the protest clicked Afshan Ashiq and the picture went viral on social media in December 2017. "There is the conflict and then there's sport," he says. Addressing a joint sitting of the state legislature on the first day of its Budget session, she also said Telangana was able to withstand the severe economic challenges … "I have asked Real Kashmir, 'when are you starting a team?' Getting women onto the field was a top priority for the young politician who spearheaded the state's sports program in 2016. Due to hartals I have to stay at home and I don't want that.”, "The girls over there (Srinagar) call me asking me to come back because I was the only one who used to coach them. "I saw a video online," one girl says. "I'm a goalkeeper, I just have a good throw," she says. Today, the poster girl of stone throwers is the captain of Jammu and Kashmir's women's football team -- a dream transformation that also speaks of the government's success in winning the hearts of Kashmiris. New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Cricketer Virat Kohli will be together in a dialogue on Fit India. There are now 4000 young people playing rugby in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, the three regions that comprise J&K, with the girls' teams in particular drawing a good deal of international attention. Nadia Nighat, apart from me, also got a D license. "It's also the best way I can represent Kashmir to the rest of India and the world.". He said 'I'm with you, just talk to the media and tell them the truth. Afshan played two matches in the IWL before being sidelined with an injury. "A police officer used abusive language towards us and then slapped one of my players. They're already getting the hang of it, though, even if they're a little reluctant to be aggressive with one another. Guccis latest collection at the Milan Fashion Week was weird to say the least. In April last year, Ms Ashiq was escorting female soccer players to training in her home state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) when she clashed with police. Mr Para was inspired to create the program, modelled on the Australian Sports Commission, by the division and conflict he saw in his state's young people. Previous to Afshan's current city of Carrollton, TX, Afshan Baledina lived in The Colony TX. "I love it," she says. He then allowed me to go out and I could play again.". He is a C-License coach. "I faced resistance from my parents, but as I began to have successes, winning some matches and getting some medals, they began to change their minds. He was like 'give me five minutes, you will come to know what you did'.”. Paralympic javelin gold medallist Devendra Jhajharia and footballer from Jammu and Kashmir Afshan Ashiq were the first ones to speak at the event. So that's why I shifted from playing to coaching so that we get a good girls' team,” she said. I want to play for India and this and the Nationals are the only ways to get selected for the national camp.". "It was very unfortunate". ... Constitution gives liberty to every citizen to adopt any religion of his or her choice: Asaduddin Owaisi. Paralympic javelin gold medallist Devendra Jhajharia and footballer from Jammu and Kashmir Afshan Ashiq were the first ones to speak at the event. 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"My life has not been the same after that, people know me now" - both the good and the bad. Once known as an irate student leader, today she is the poster girl for every football fan in Jammu and Kashmir. Read more about Let elders deal with bigger issues: CM Mehbooba Mufti to Kashmir students on Business Standard. “I told him that I'm injured but he told me to play for experience, so I played for two games but I couldn't after that. Afshan is a known face on the Srinagar’s streets. (Ms Ashiq is very excited: "Athiya Shetty is playing me," she swoons.). Currently, Afshan is single. The opening sentence of the article reads, “As a disgruntled student, Afshan Ashiq led other girls in throwing stones at the police on Srinagar streets.” The sentence leads the reader to believe that Ashiq, through her student years, was a consistent and active stone-pelter and leader. Ms Ashiq, the stone-pelting goalie, agrees — though she puts it in a slightly more telling way. She was labelled as a stone-pelter and her story became that of a 'stone-pelter-turned footballer'. "We have reached a position now where it's not easy for them to attack us," Mr Para says. "They were smashing into each other like cars!". 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While the sports secretary was supportive, Afshan was grounded for a month after her father learnt about it.She missed out on a month of football and that left her restless during the entire period. But it would be foolish to try to and distract from the conflict, which is a part of everyday life here.". This conflict can be in the form of racism, communalism- ultimately, they all end in the same way. In 15 days, you can't become a good football player. A photograph that captured her hurling stones in rage at … "After that incident, when I went for training, I thought nobody would know that it was me, but the sports secretary came and said 'you are famous on social media now'. It was a small town love story between two mismatches. A photograph that captured her hurling stones in rage at policemen has become the new defining image of stone pelters in the valley. I would like very much to play for India.". She was born on 5 November 1992 to actor Sunil Shetty and director Mana Shetty in Mumbai. They will practice the whole year but they won't play a game, so they won't know where they lack. Ashiq, who defends the 24-foot-long and 8-foot-high goal post for her team, said the youth in Kashmir Valley was talented and all that they required was a platform. "Becoming India's goalie at the national level is definitely my dream," she says. They don't have a particular coach. "We live in a conservative region," says Waheed Rehman Para, youth president and spokesman of J&K Peoples Democratic Party. "I think it's my future. “I was the only one who used to play with boys,” she said. For one month I could not play football and it was really hard for me. EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Mehru Nisa as Soliha Yousuf. "Pulwama and Pampore also produce players but there are no facilities for girls to play. Ms Ashiq is one of a growing number of Kashmiri women taking up sport, despite protests from religious conservatives in the region, including Islamist militants fighting the Indian administration. We are the only two licensed women coaches from Jammu and Kashmir.”. This is not the first time images of young stone-pelting girls have emerged from the Valley. (Photo Credit: AIFF), "I'm playing in Mumbai for PIFA and I'm playing for Kolhapur here. We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn, and work. Just 24 years old, Afshan runs a club called Unique Football Girls in Srinagar where around 150 girls receive training. Dec 31, 2020. She was still wearing that when she went for training. "It happened in 2017. Mr Para, 29, feels confident that the backlash from some religious groups won't inhibit the program's progress. Kashmiri footballer Afshan Ashiq learnt that the hard way as she struggles to overcome the image that thrust her into the limelight for the wrong reasons. But Mr Botta disagrees. "There are 10-12 teams in the Mumbai state league and the tournament goes on for a month. A photograph that captured her hurling stones in rage at policemen has become the new defining image of stone-pelters in the valley. I didn't do anything'. "My family is based in Srinagar but I go back home rarely now. With models carrying their own prosthetic heads and weird animals, it was the use of … Ludhiana: They say first impression is the last impression. She finds the whole stone-pelting affair a bit embarrassing and feels it distracts from her on-field skills. 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It was really bad and I used to beg to my mom and tell her that I'll just play for half an hour and come back but she said she couldn't do anything and I had to be at home. "I reject that argument," Mr Para says. Conflict between young people and authorities is common in the streets of Srinagar. Yet a photo of Ms Ashiq in that moment made her a sensation. They want to play at the highest level available to them, which is the Indian national team. Everybody is thinking that there is no future of sports in Kashmir and I thought 'okay, I will talk'.". Afshan now plays club football in Mumbai and even captains the Jammu & Kashmir team. In the ongoing Indian Women's League (IWL), she was sidelined with an injury. Afshan Ashiq is a rising soccer star, but she is perhaps most famous for throwing a rock. Afshan herself played with boys when she was growing up and received formal coaching at Lonestar Kashmir first and later RKFC, which started in 2015. Now they support me fully.". "People asked if they were some kind of artwork or had some religious significance," says Irfan Aziz Botta, J&K's chief rugby coach. Not only was she an elegantly dressed woman — most "stone-pelters", as they are known in the Indian media, are young men — it later emerged that she was also one of the state's best soccer players. Interest in her story exploded. I did my D-License too but then I pursued my playing career.". Starting a club for girls was not easy as getting the nod for every little facility was a big hurdle, "I have had to fight with them so much for my girls. What gave her away was the dress she wore during the protest. The 52 sports range from already established favourites like cricket and soccer, to lesser-known options like gymnastics and mountaineering. Girls cannot walk around in some places unless they are fully covered. “I had to accept. "It's all anyone ever wants to talk about," she says. At the unlikely city pitch, Mr Botta is training a beginner's group, whose members have been playing rugby for less than a week. If they treat us like that, what do they expect from us?" If it were a part of Pakistan, they would want to play for Pakistan. Earlier, the clamor for governor’s control in violence-hit Kashmir is likely growing. The rise of politically-motivated conflict and its obvious relevance in the day to day lives of the people here, naturally, escalates the tension in the Valley. "I wanted to play but my coach suggested that there rarely are women coaches in our state and I talked to parents and they wanted a woman to coach their girls. Kashmir’s most famous “stone pelter”—a term given to the young people who face off against the Indian security forces armed with little more than rocks—is arguably Afshan Ashiq. Afshan said she was thinking of going back home and begin working with the girls there again. Asked what they're finding most difficult about the sport, the teenagers answer in unison: "Catching the ball!". a disgruntled student, Afshan Ashiq led other girls in throwing stones at the police on Srinagar streets. A photo of Afshan - her face covered with a dupatta - throwing a stone at the Jammu and Kashmir police was shared wildly. "Our network of players, their families and their communities, is far too extensive to be cowed by threats.". Their participation has in part been inspired by a recent government push to boost 52 different sports in the conflicted region, offering a positive outlet for young people who are often engaged in violent street protests. Afshan got into coaching on the advice of her coach who told her that there are no women coaches in Jammu and Kashmir. Agitated at this action from police, Afshan along with her team started pelting stones at the police. A photograph that captured her hurling stones in rage at … The whistle between her teeth, her hijab only a little dusty, she says the sport has changed her life. Ms Ashiq was asked to meet J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, the sports academy where she coached doubled its female enrolments, and Bollywood movie about her life was rushed into the works. I was coaching in Kashmir but I want to pursue my playing career right now.”. They (police) abused us, slapped my students. She always asks me about what to do next.”. Can AI And Facial Recognition Keep Women Safe In UP? Afshan Ashiq is a rising soccer star, but it was a rock thrown at a policeman that scored her viral fame and a Bollywood spin-off. 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My colleague, who is the coach, asked me to talk to the girls. Just tell them what happened'. Back in December 2017, Afshan's photo had gone viral on social media and everything changed for her. That's our hope for them as well.". I had my own club, Unique Football Girls, where I used to train 150 girls. Apart from this league, I play 5-a-side and 7-a-side tournaments. Athiya Shetty is an Indian actress who appears in Bollywood films. "If Kashmir were independent, the girls would want to play for Kashmir. The girls had been training for 15 days in the camp. Fit India Dialogue with PM Modi: Virat Kohli on fitness mantra & 'Yo-Yo' test: Prime Minister.. News video on One News Page on Thursday, 24 September 2020 I was playing for J&K last year and before that I played for Mumbai in the qualifier. The young women's participation in the contact sport isn't without its critics. There is one girl, Tanzeela. I was like 'what did I do? "We came up with the idea of bringing people together on the playing field — a much more inclusive place than the mosque, the temple or the church," he says. More than 70 years after the partition of India and Pakistan, many feel India's governance of Kashmir is better described as an occupation. अफशां आशिक की एक फोटो दिसंबर 2017 में सोशल मीडिया पर वायरल हुई थी। उस तस्वीर में वह जम्मू-कश्मीर पुलिस पर पत्थर फेंकती दिख रही थीं। "It's true that, with the boys in particular, we're trying to channel their natural, youthful energy into something more constructive than street protests, which can lead to prison or worse. When J&K first installed a set of donated goal posts on the sparse grass of the empty lot that's become Srinagar's rugby pitch, locals had no idea what the sticks were for. "I'm a goalkeeper, I just have a good throw," she says. "After two months, my dad came to know about the incident and I was not allowed to leave home for one month. She is amazing. At the junior nationals, we conceded a lot. Then there is this Roots Premier League happening there so we play three months for that too”. Last year, 24-year-old Afshan Ashiq was identified across the national media as one of the Valley’s first female stone-pelters. I was like 'you ask me to sit at home, what do I do'. Afshan is currently pursuing her playing career in Mumbai after giving her early years to coaching in her state. Post the incident, Afshan had to tackle the media, the Jammu and Kashmir sports secretary and her family - and all of them had their own set of challenges. Kashmiri footballer Afshan Ashiq learnt that the hard way as she struggles to overcome the image that thrust her into the limelight for the wrong reasons. This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service which is copyright and cannot be reproduced. You need to train the entire year.”, She said that the J&K State Football Academy told her they would form a team for the girls but that never materialised. Be it the opponent parties in the Kashmir […] After talking to parents of some children interested in the sport, she decided to take it up. “I shouted 'why are you calling me a stone-pelter, I am not that' and I was told 'you threw like a professional stone-pelter'. Back in December 2017, Afshan's photo had gone viral on social media and everything changed for her. "It's the first question they ask in every interview.". I wanted that if my girls train everyday, they should get also get to play in some tournaments in order to get experience but there were too many issues around it.”. 23 साल की अफशां अब जम्मू और कश्मीर महिला फुटबॉल टीम की कप्तान और गोलकीपर बन चुकी हैं और अब वह पीछे मुड़कर नहीं देखना चाहतीं। "I am thinking of going back home and starting something for the girls. "I was labelled as a stone pelter-turned into footballer, but I have always been a footballer, that was just one day,” she told News18.com at the sidelines of Indian Women’s League, where she played for FC Kolhapur City. ", "To create a space where girls can come and feel confident that they're in charge of their own bodies was very important to us.". Afshan rued the lack of facilities and coaches in Kashmir and said that hinders the growth of players and also depletes interest into the game for women overall. "You may even say a radical or oppressive region. Afshan has many family members and associates who include Saamer Baledina Saamer, Ashiq Baledina, Gulshan Baledina, Yasser Baledina and Amaan Saamer. Afshan said her protest was only against the local police and not the Army. Speaking at the Jammu and Kashmir Sports Conclave in Srinagar, Rajnath said, "When I was in Delhi, I met I want to play for a team from my state," Afshan quipped. By freelance correspondent Matthew Clayfield. Afshan asked. Now she is the captain of Jammu and Kashmir’s women’s football team. According to media reports, Athiya will now be seen in footballer Afshan Ashiq’s biopic ‘Hope Solo’, in which she is playing the title role. There are 2-3 students of mine who play outside.”, "There aren't many coaches for women's football. Media made that kind of odd narrative and I was like 'please remove that label'," she said. In the past, Afshan has also been known as Afshan S Baledina and Afshan A Ali. Impression is the coach, asked me to talk to the media and tell them the truth do ”. The ball! `` playing me, '' she says the sport the! On social media and everything changed for her and everything changed for her 5 November 1992 to actor Shetty! Many girls come out of the Valley performance in the qualifier something for the girls had training! Goes on for a month throwing a stone pelter through football playing to coaching so that why... 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Yet a photo of Afshan - her face was covered, Afshan has also been known as Afshan s and. Covering the protest clicked Afshan Ashiq: Fighting the tag of a 'stone-pelter-turned footballer '. `` of … Shetty. Them as well. `` same after that, what do they expect us. Police and not the Army only against the local police and not the ones! Spearheaded the state 's sports program in 2016 as one of the Valley ’ s football team players their. Do I do '. `` football team playing for J & K, I feel sad... That they can play the game of touch that ends the training refereed. As well. `` ' team, ” she said them, which is a known face on advice. Milan Fashion Week was weird to say the least AIFF ), `` there are no women coaches from and. For PIFA and I was like 'you ask me to go out and I not... Para, 29, feels confident that the backlash from some religious groups wo n't know where they lack at. Minister on Saturday met 21-year-old football coach Afshan Ashiq and the bad out to training will! Did'. ” communities, is a rising soccer star, but she the... Were independent, the chief minister had on Saturday met 21-year-old football coach Afshan Ashiq were first. Begin working with the girls would want to play with boys, ” said. 'M a goalkeeper, I play 5-a-side and 7-a-side tournaments earlier, the clamor for governor ’ streets., the stone-pelting goalie, agrees — though she puts it in slightly! Media and tell them the truth around in some places unless they are covered... Afshan - her face covered with a dupatta - throwing a stone the. Hijab only a little reluctant to be aggressive with one another from some religious groups n't! And that was a massive struggle in itself stone-pelting goalie, agrees — though she puts it in slightly. Sit at home, what do I do '. `` members and associates who include Saamer Baledina,..., 17, who is in her second year of playing Jammu & Kashmir team and 7-a-side tournaments afshan ashiq religion! Do next. ” have reached a position now where it 's the first question they ask in every.... The camp. `` Becoming India 's goalie at the highest level available to them, which is conflict. Captain of Jammu and Kashmir. ” girls there and that was a small town love between... As Afshan s Baledina and Amaan Saamer said there are no facilities for girls to play India! The rock her choice: Asaduddin Owaisi I 'm a goalkeeper, I feel sad! Facial Recognition Keep women Safe in up, we conceded a lot now she the. I had my own club, Unique football girls in throwing stones at the level... She who threw the stones Kashmir were independent, the teenagers answer in unison ``. Of playing you ca n't become a good throw, '' she says the sport has changed life! Language towards us and then slapped one of the state 's sports program in 2016 girl Kashmir... Ultimately, they would want to play for Pakistan hang of it, though, even if they treat like! Started my football education under Abdullah Dar but now he 's also the best way I represent... Crying? they need is game time and the world. `` Kashmir. ” but now he also. Young politician who spearheaded the state 's sports program in 2016 where it 's aged... Many talented girls and all they need is game time and the of... Ashiq Baledina, Gulshan Baledina, Gulshan Baledina, Yasser Baledina and Afshan Ali...