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Woman footballer of Odisha opts for job in Bihar

PTI 05 Jun 2015, 16:20:25 IST

Kendrapara: the latest instance of sportspersons from Odisha relocating to states known for better nourishing of talents, a promising woman footballer has opted for a job in Bihar.

19-year-old national level player Rachita Mallik, hailing from remote Mendhapur village in Kendrapara district had fought grinding poverty to bring laurels in football for her state. She had also donned the country's jersey in international events on several occasions.

Mallik's name had figured in the state's list of sports achievers and she was rewarded with a constable's job on April 30 as per the newly launched recruitment policy for sportspersons in Odisha.

However, she, who was recruited as clerk by East Central Railways at Hajipur in Bihar on March 26, turned down her home state's offer.

Her father Kartik Mallik said Rachita had run from pillar to post to get a job, but her exercise had ended in futility. Exasperated, she had applied in Bihar and was promptly recruited in recognition for her soccer talent.  “I am a daily wager. It was the happiest moment in my life when my daughter was offered a job by Railways.

A month after, Odisha government announced her recruitment as police constable. She sought my advice whether to quit her railways job. She wanted to stick to it and I consented to it.” Had Odisha government responded to her job application earlier she would have definitely preferred to serve it, he added.

District sports officer Loknath Panigrahi, said Rachita is an outstanding defender and should quit her Railway job in Bihar so that her talent is used for state women's football team. Aul MLA Debendra Sharma said the footballer might not have opted for the job in Bihar had Odisha government appointed here earlier.

“There has been exodus of talents from Odisha as sports is not in the list of priorities of the government.  Rachita's case is a classic example of how Odisha is steadily losing talented sportspersons to other states,” he said. 

There were over 24 women footballers from Kendrapara who have made the district proud by representing either the state or the national team. While about 10 of them have got jobs in Railways under sports promotion quota and some of them moving out of Odisha for work.

Two of them were employed in state police on merit and the rest are unemployed, Sharma added.