‘Chak De’ Girl Of Volleyball In Odisha! Know The Coach Who Brought A New Era

Bhubaneswar: Participation of girls in sports and games was once considered a taboo in rural Odisha. Girls in villages were never allowed to wear half pants and hit the playground.

However, overcoming all social barriers and inhibitions, Diya Mazumdar played a pioneering role in revolutionising sports and popularising volleyball among girls in villages. With volleyballs in hand, she moved door-to-door to persuade people to send their daughters out to play. She also visited different schools in her bid to bring girls to the volleyball court.

Finally, her endeavour yielded as parents reposed faith in her and allowed their daughters to hit the court. Now, girls from rural Odisha are now not only excelling in volleyball but also bringing laurels by earning name and fame with their impressive performance in tournaments.

Diya Mazumdar, who hails from West Bengal, got married to Asutosh Patra around four years ago. A former volleyball player, she has got a certificate from the Volleyball Federation of India as a woman coach. Based in Dhenkanal at present, Diya has been making concerted efforts to popularise volleyball among girls in the area.

Struggle To Success

It was a major challenge before Diya to make village girls wear half pants and bring them to the volleyball court. Social barriers marked by conservative mindset posed a major obstacle. Though she was not very fluent in Odia, Diya did not give up and continued to explain people about the significance of sports for girls in today’s life. With the help of a local woman teacher, she continued to approach people who were finally convinced about the need to give up inhibitions. Those who initially ridiculed her were made to accept her proposal and Diya succeeded.

Positive Results

Determination and perseverance paid dividends for Diya. She not only managed to bring girls to the volleyball court but also imparted proper training to at least 130 players in the last three years with her hard work. Following her initiative, volleyball has now become highly popular in Nuagaon, Nuahat, Paikapurunakot and other areas of Dhenkanal district. While seven players trained by her have played at the national level, 45 girls have excelled in state-level matches. Dhenkanal district, where volleyball was once unknown, has become champion in under 14 girls’ category in the state. They beat a strong team from Kendrapada 2-0 to emerge champions.

Special Identity

People of Dhenkanal now acknowledge Diya’s contribution in bringing a new volleyball era in the district. Girls, who were once afraid of stepping out of houses, are now creating a new chapter in volleyball court. Diya said her joy knew no bounds when girls trained by her were first selected to play national matches. She has been imparting training without any fees as her only dream is to ensure a bright future for girls in volleyball. She said her husband Asutosh has been extending full support to make her dream a reality.

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