Once seen pelting stones on the security forces during protests in Jammu and Kashmir, the 21-year-old Afshan Ashiq has turned a corner to become an inspiration for those of her age.
Manager of the JK women football team Tsering Angmo said sports infrastructure in border areas is very poor and needs urgent attention so that youths could be weaned away from terrorism and unlawful acts like stone pelting.
That picture got her "noticed" as the "Kashmiri footballer forced to vent her ire by pelting stones".
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Afshan said that she was impressed by how patiently the Union minister heard the issues raised by them. She met Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who helped her.
According to the Indian Express, Afshan accompanied her team to meet the union home minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday. Afshan tsaid that she sought the home minister's intervention to start a Sports Authority of India Institute in Kashmir to train and encourage young Kashmiri girls to play football.
Afsahan has said that CM Mehbooba Mufti was already supporting them in a big way and had also given instructions to the sports secretary to handle well the requirements of the women's football team. Afshan has now taken up the leadership role in the football team of Jammu and Kashmir - a development that has reportedly made a famous Bollywood filmmaker contemplate a movie on her. "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", added Afshan. She says that she would not have picked up a stone had it not been for the misbehaviour of the police. "I want to be an achiever and do something to make the state and the nation proud", said Afshan, who is now studying BA in Srinagar.
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