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Levelling the playing field

DEEPIKA SARMA
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Chatline State-level football player Shivashankari Purushothaman tells DEEPIKA SARMA she wants to develop a girl’s football team and is ready to work for free towards achieving that goal

“My football name is Ammu,” laughs Shivashankari Purushothaman, referring to her neighbourhood nickname. To find her, you don’t need an address; simply ask around in Austin Town, and plenty of helpful residents will point you to her door.

Thirty-year-old Shivashankari began playing football at the age of six, and was the kind who got noticed: she played football at the State level for 10 years from 1993 onwards, captaining the under-19 and the senior women’s teams for a year each. She was selected for the national team when she was in her teens, but a lapse in communication ruined her chance to play for India. Disappointed, but not discouraged, in 2000 she went on to play for the East Bengal women’s team in Kolkata. The lack of support for female players, however, meant she soon had to cut short her playing in order to pursue a sustainable career.

Continued on page 4

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