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Daughter of a tractor driver, Jharkhand’s Eitu is the youngest kabaddi entrant at KIYG

Newdelhi:6/6/22;Jharkhand’s Eitu Mandal had entered the record books even before making her first raid in the Khelo India Youth Games on Saturday. At 13, the baby-faced kabaddi player is the youngest kabaddi entrant in this edition of the Games.

Daughter of a tractor driver, Eitu Mandal fell in love with kabaddi when she was just eight years old. Undeterred by all the bulky women around her, she has quickly moved up the levels to become part of the Under-18 Youth team.

“My parents were worried for me. But I have never been scared,” she told, shortly after her team’s first match against Maharashtra.

Eitu Mandal’s ‘record’ might not last long though. Her sister, five years younger than her, has also taken a liking to kabaddi and is already turning into a fine player.

“I am the eldest in the family,” the resident of Madhuban village in Dumka district in Jharkhand, said. “But my parents have given me a free hand. They didn’t put any pressure on me to take up the responsibilities of the family,” she added.

Eitu might still have a long way to go in the sport but she already knows what she will do once she hangs up her boots.

“I want to be a coach. As soon as I learn enough about the sport, I will start coaching. I want to work with youngsters, help them fall in love with kabaddi.”

In recent years, kabaddi has emerged as the next big sport in the country. It has not only given a great platform to youngsters in rural India but has turned many into mega stars. Some of them have overnight become super rich too.

In 2016, a professional kabaddi league for women has also launched, drawing young girls by the horde to the sport.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.
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