Over the years we have heard many inspirational stories and the generations to come may hear the tale of Afshan Ashiq. The 21-year-old girl from Jammu and Kashmir was pelting stones on Srinagar streets once but now, is the captain of the Jammu and Kashmir’s women’s football team — a dream transformation that also speaks of the government’s success in winning hearts and minds of Kashmiris. The youngster met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday and he said that Ashiq doesn’t want to look back ever.
Ashiq is delighted with this development and soon, her life can be turned into a biopic. “My life has changed forever. I want to be an achiever and do something to make the state and the nation proud,” she said. A renowned Bollywood filmmaker, who for now wishes to remain anonymous, also plans to make a film on the tall Ashiq, her team’s goalkeeper who is studying for her B.A. in Srinagar.
Ashiq led the 22-member football team of her state that met Rajnath Singh. Speaking to media after her meeting, Ashiq said that the senior BJP leader wasted no time in redressing the team’s grievances over the lack of sports-related infrastructure in the state. “When we told the home minister that Jammu and Kashmir lacks sports infrastructure, he immediately called up the Chief Minister (Mehbooba Mufti) and requested her to do the needful to help us,” Ashiq, who is from Srinagar, was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
She revealed that Rajnath Singh told the team that about Rs 100 crore has already been sanctioned for the state. During the 30-minute meeting with Singh, the team members conveyed to him that if proper infrastructure such as training facilities came up in Jammu and Kashmir, the youth could be motivated to hone their talents and bring laurels to the state, staying away from terrorism and other unlawful activities.
Apart from Ashiq, team manager Tsering Angmo also thanked the Home Minister for listening to them and for speaking to the chief minister about their problems. Later, the home minister tweeted, “Met the young and energetic girls of JK’s first ever Women Football Team. They are highly motivated and driven when it comes to football.”