December 07, 2017

From stone pelting to leading J&K’s football team, life has taken a complete u-turn for Afshan Ashiq

by Neha Monga

Afshan Ashiq, who grabbed media attention last year as a disgruntled student who led other girls in throwing stones at Srinagar police, is once again in the limelight. But this time it is for good.

Afshan Ashiq

Pic courtesy: India Today

Her journey from kicking football to pelting stones was a sad one and was read and shared by millions last year.

Her story and photograph of pelting stones at the cops got her ‘noticed’ and what followed was a meeting with J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti. Mufti met Afshan and decided to do her bit to help the young athlete and promote women’s football in J&K.

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Pic courtery: Indian Express

Afshan’s life has taken a complete u-turn from last year and she is now the captain and goalkeeper of the J&K women’s football team. She is now getting the exposure she always needed and also plays for a Mumbai club.

On Tuesday, Afshan led her 22-member football team in to a meeting with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, along with coach Satpal Singh Kala and manager Tsering Angmo, to discuss the sports infrastructure in J&K.

Afshan AshiqPic courtesy: Twitter

“I was impressed by how patiently a Union minister heard the issues raised by us. We sought better sports infrastructure in J&K. The home minister called up J&K CM (Mehbooba Mufti) in front of us and told her to meet us when we get back to Srinagar,” Time of India reported Afshan as saying.

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“While I have joined a Mumbai football club to pursue my dream to be a national-level player, it is my honour to also captain the J&K women’s football team,” she said.

When asked whether she regrets the stone pelting incident, she said that she didn’t and also her reaction was triggered by the abusive language used by a J&K cop.

“I don’t regret anything. I would not have picked up a stone had it not been for the misbehaviour of the police,” she said.

Well, we wish her luck for the long journey ahead.

 

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