Former stone pelter is now captain of Kashmir women's football team

Afshan's life took a U-turn after she was recognised online as well as in the national media. Photograph:( WION )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 06, 2017, 08.00 AM (IST)

A girl from Kashmir has left stone-pelting behind her to captain Jammu and Kashmir's women football team. Last year, a picture of Afshan Ashiq pelting stones at local police had gone viral. Afshan's life took a U-turn after she was recognised online as well as in the national media. The twenty-one-year-old now holds a football in her hands and captains a 22-member state women football team.

Afshan had also reached out to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh asking for better infrastructure and support for women in sports in Kashmir.

"The only reason for us to have reached out to him was to improve and encourage sports in J&K. The state government is taking many initiatives but central government's support is essential too. We thought if kids talked to him, it would have an impact. It was important to talk about the problems faced by us," Afshan told ANI.

"When we told the home minister that Jammu and Kashmir lack 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, said.

"The minister also told us that Rs. 100 crore had already been sanctioned (under the Prime Minister's special package) for the state," the captain of the CM's-XI team told PTI.

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."

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He also said they were examples for others to follow. "Playing the role of new age 'Gender Benders', these girls are setting an example for others to follow. I wish them success and a great future," he tweeted. 

(With inputs from PTI)