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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 … Meet Afshan Ashiq — the girl from Kashmir once infamous as a stone-pelter. “I had to accept. 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He said 'I'm with you, just talk to the media and tell them the truth. This is not the first time images of young stone-pelting girls have emerged from the Valley. Currently, Afshan is single. I was like 'you ask me to sit at home, what do I do'. He then allowed me to go out and I could play again.". 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. 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 … My colleague, who is the coach, asked me to talk to the girls. If they treat us like that, what do they expect from us?" Football has made sure many girls come out of the state to study so that they can play the game. Afshan said her protest was only against the local police and not the Army. Read more about Let elders deal with bigger issues: CM Mehbooba Mufti to Kashmir students on Business Standard. 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. 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 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 am thinking of going back home and starting something for the girls. Afshan asked. The event organized by Union Ministry of … 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. The girls had been training for 15 days in the camp. Back in December 2017, Afshan's photo had gone viral on social media and everything changed for her. Ludhiana: They say first impression is the last impression. "You may even say a radical or oppressive region. Yet some fear this new-found focus on sport unwisely redirects young people's focus away from the struggle against Indian control. "I reject that argument," Mr Para says. A photograph that captured her hurling stones in rage at policemen has become the new defining image of stone-pelters in the valley. I had my own club, Unique Football Girls, where I used to train 150 girls. Then there is this Roots Premier League happening there so we play three months for that too”. "I saw a video online," one girl says. 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Afshan got into coaching on the advice of her coach who told her that there are no women coaches in Jammu and Kashmir. 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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. Since her face was covered, Afshan didn't think people would know that it was she who threw the stones. In the past, Afshan has also been known as Afshan S Baledina and Afshan A Ali. Once known as an irate student leader, today she is the poster girl for every football fan in Jammu and Kashmir. 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. "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. "There are 10-12 teams in the Mumbai state league and the tournament goes on for a month. Afshan is currently pursuing her playing career in Mumbai after giving her early years to coaching in her state. 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. We are the only two licensed women coaches from Jammu and Kashmir.”. For one month I could not play football and it was really hard for me. This is when some photographers covering the protest clicked Afshan Ashiq and the picture went viral on social media in December 2017. They will practice the whole year but they won't play a game, so they won't know where they lack. We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn, and work. Then one day I was having dinner with dad and he looked at me and said, 'why are you crying?' There is one girl, Tanzeela. 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. Just 24 years old, Afshan runs a club called Unique Football Girls in Srinagar where around 150 girls receive training. "It was very unfortunate". "We live in a conservative region," says Waheed Rehman Para, youth president and spokesman of J&K Peoples Democratic Party. In the ongoing Indian Women's League (IWL), she was sidelined with an injury. Afshan now plays club football in Mumbai and even captains the Jammu & Kashmir team. 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. “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'. But it would be foolish to try to and distract from the conflict, which is a part of everyday life here.". "It's the first question they ask in every interview.". So that's why I shifted from playing to coaching so that we get a good girls' team,” she said. Conflict between young people and authorities is common in the streets of Srinagar. 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. Afshan is a known face on the Srinagar’s streets. "If Kashmir were independent, the girls would want to play for Kashmir. Before pursuing her playing career outside the state, she used to coach the girls there and that was a massive struggle in itself. 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 Now she is the captain of Jammu and Kashmir’s women’s football team. "People asked if they were some kind of artwork or had some religious significance," says Irfan Aziz Botta, J&K's chief rugby coach. Guccis latest collection at the Milan Fashion Week was weird to say the least. They (police) abused us, slapped my students. Apart from this league, I play 5-a-side and 7-a-side tournaments. A photograph that captured her hurling stones in rage at … She was born on 5 November 1992 to actor Sunil Shetty and director Mana Shetty in Mumbai. Afshan played two matches in the IWL before being sidelined with an injury. 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. Back in December 2017, Afshan's photo had gone viral on social media and everything changed for her. 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 had yesterday met 21-year-old football coach Afshan Ashiq. 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. "Becoming India's goalie at the national level is definitely my dream," she says. She said her coach from J&K, Satpal Singh, had asked her to sign from Kolhapur. CM also met Afshan Ashiq, whose photo became the new defining image of stone pelters in the valley Just tell them what happened'. Ms Ashiq, the stone-pelting goalie, agrees — though she puts it in a slightly more telling way. Interest in her story exploded. I did my D-License too but then I pursued my playing career.". 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. 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