Matri Shakti Tournament
SEASON 3 CHAMPION
GULABI TEAM SAUDAG, KARRA, KHUNTI
Close to 38% of girls in Jharkhand are still married before they turn 18 and at the age when they should be playing and looking after their health, they become mothers and spend their days either taking care of their babies and family or go out and work as a domestic helper or daily wage labour to earn livelihood.
Once a girl starts menstruating, along with some other restrictions of her going out from home and taking part in games and sports are prohibited by the family and society. She is expected to prioritise housework, uphold the family’s honour by cloistering herself inside the house.
After getting married and becoming a mother, women either don't get permission to participate in any kind of sporting activities or they are bread earners of their family. There is no opportunity available for them to participate in any activities of their choice. In any case, playing on ground become like a dream for these women.
In 2018, Pratigya started a Sports for Development (S4D) initiative, namely Matri Shakti Football Tournament. It is a football match specifically for mothers. The primary objective behind organising this tournament was to create a development space for the women community and also to make them aware about the role of sports in a person’s life. Moreover, the sense of belonging to the space would led them to encourage their children (especially girl child) for engaging into sports activities. This was initially started in Jagannathpur, which is the biggest slum of Jharkhand and in a tribal village namely Chandapara in Khunti. People living here are mostly tribals and migrants from various parts of the state as well as country. In the first year, 6 teams (90 mothers) participated to feel and relive their childhood. After the successful completion of the tournament in the first year, it left a sense of excitement among the mothers from different areas who witnessed the first season of the tournament. Hence, they started demanding for the next tournament. In 2019, when the registration for the tournament was declared, 26 teams tried to register for the same in which 2 teams didn't make it due to being late for registration. The second season of the tournament was organised with 24 teams from 13 communities, in which 360 mothers participated and played from two districts of Jharkhand.
These women were not professional footballer, nor did they had any proper sports kit or a coach to train them but they still came forward to play because for them the tournament was not just a matter of winning or losing matches instead it was an opportunity to relive their dreams once again and feel that confidence within them. Leaving all the fear, shame and barrier behind, playing on the ground itself was a big achievement for these mothers. After participating in the tournament they understood that even after getting married and becoming a mother they still have their personal life to live and more importantly they need to look after their health and stay fit.
In many countries, it has been recognized that sport can act as a force to strengthen women's voices and tear down gender-based discrimination. However, its use to promote gender equity and empower girls and women is often overlooked because sport is not
universally perceived as a suitable or desirable pursuit for girls and women and still sports continues to be dominated by males. It is a mistake, however, to assume that because girls and women do not wish to participate, rather the lack of opportunities is one of the main reasons.
Due to COVID-19 Pandemic, we couldn't organise the tournament for the last 2 years. Women had a particularly tough time during the pandemic when lockdown restrictions made it difficult to access help. With family members at home all the time, women were doubly impacted not only with economic and other losses but also with a heavier burden of housework and with the ugly spectre of domestic violence looming over them. According to the National Commission for Women (NCW), there was a 2.5 times increase in cases of domestic violence during the first phase of the lockdown. Because of the violence and stress on women throughout the pandemic, physical as well as mental health of the women was affected badly.
Sports have a significant effect on a person's daily life and health, both physical and mental. The involvement of the women in sports will reduce their tension and give more confidence that will regularly raise their confidence. Confident and healthy mothers with sportsmanship not only contribute to the education and sports of their children but also it will help to grow the community. Hence, after the gap of 2 years, we are all set to organise the Matri Shakti Football Tournament once again this year with some new and exciting concepts.
This year's tournament's aim is to not only bring forward the community women to play football match but also to equip them with necessary knowledge regarding social issues and provide a space to discuss, understand about it and plan out to work for the betterment of their community. Total 32 teams (480 mothers) are going to participate in this tournament. This tournament will boost their confidence and will help them in knowledge & capacity building so that they can take leadership role in family and community.
The tournament will take place at 4 levels and there will be one agenda at each level. 4 different agendas for 4 different levels. The teams will be given certain tasks to be completed before the match.
Following are the agendas on which the task will be designed.
Heinous crimes against girls/women
Basic Rights of Girls
Each level will have the following stages :--
Task handouts : Handout of the task will be given to each teams. It will have two parts, the first part will be informative and will include the important information regarding any one agenda. The second part will carry list of activities that the team will have to complete.
Pre-match Practice : The teams with their coaches will have to gather to practice before match along with that they will have to read the handout and complete the task.
Submission of task : Once done with the task they'll have to submit the task work and the team who will do best will be recognised with some gifts.
Match : The football match will happen in the decided ground and winner teams will qualify to next level. Then the qualified teams will again be given the next task on different agenda. Each level will have this same stages of activities.
Expected Results/Outcomes :--
480 women get chance to participate in district level football tournament.
480 women acquire new network and develop a sense of identity and access to new opportunities to become more engaged in community life.
480 women are confident for leadership and decision making.
480 women are out of gender stereotype and discriminatory practices in sports.
480 households are aware about the role of sports in a person’s life and they will encourage their children (especially girl child) for sports activities.
480 women will feel the improved mental and emotional well being for themselves.
480 women are aware about the team building process and how to perform in a team with help of other members.
480 women are sensitise about 4 major social issues in their community and will take leadership role.