From A Farm To A Football Field – This Is Mamta’s Story Of Defying All Odds To Become A Google Woman Icon!

Published on January 22, 2024

Mamta’s Story

In India, the narrative surrounding girl-child education has evolved significantly over the years. No longer confined to traditional roles, girls today are breaking barriers and excelling academically, professionally, and socially. Our initiatives, specifically under their Right to Participation strategic initiatives, play a crucial role in paving the way for the holistic development and success of girl children.

Mamta’s journey and achievements have been a testament to our relentless commitment towards enabling India’s vulnerable girls to break the barriers and soar to new heights. 

Let’s witness Mamta’s story! 

“My dream is to represent India on the international sports stage!”

Mamta Gujjar is a shining amazing example of how sport can change children’s lives. 

Mamta belongs to a small village in the Rajasthan and hails from the Gujjar community whose primary livelihood comes from farming and animal rearing.

A few years ago, Mamta was about to drop out of school to help her mother with household chores and support the family’s livelihood. At the tender age of 15, her parents began thinking of getting her married but she somehow persuaded them to let her at least complete her graduation.

That is when she became acquainted with the CRY project Mahila Janadhikar Samiti (MJAS) and their work on children’s rights in her village. Mamta decided to participate in the initial group sessions being conducted for adolescent girls and was encouraged to take up the sport as a part of MJAS’s life skills program.

She went on to form the MJAS girls' football team and won many accolades across multiple tournaments including the 'Sports for Change' tournament organised by HCL Foundation as well as the state-level sports festival conducted by the Rajasthan Government.

But while her talent in football was earning her recognition, her father wasn’t thrilled with the idea of a girl taking up a male-dominated sport like football. Her community raised concerns about girls playing in shorts and her team was often harassed during practice sessions by those who wanted them to stop playing.

The girls were not deterred. They sought support from their mothers and, led by Mamta and her sister Sapna, continued honing their skills on the football field – determined to show their community that girls could not only play football but also bring pride to their community as sportswomen.

Their efforts and persistence bore fruit – the tournaments they won became a way to break gender stereotypes and their hard work earned them multiple scholarships to continue their education; Mamta herself passed the higher secondary examination with 1st division marks!

Being a part of MJAS’s adolescent girls' group, she also consistently raises awareness for ensuring that schools have enough teachers and quality education is accessible to all children; including girls.  

CRY's initiatives recognise that a girl's success extends beyond the academic and professional realms. Through life skills workshops, leadership programs, and community-based activities, CRY fosters social empowerment among girls.

Girls are encouraged to participate in decision-making processes within their communities, schools, and families. This not only builds their confidence but also instils a sense of agency, teaching them to navigate societal expectations and challenges. By fostering social excellence, CRY envisions a society where girls are not just educated and employed but are active contributors to positive social change.

By fostering a sense of participation, we ensure that girls become active contributors to their own development and the development of their communities. Our holistic approach recognizes that academic, professional, and social excellence are interconnected facets of a girl's journey, and addressing one aspect positively influences the others.

In the landscape of girl child development in India, achieving academic, professional, and social excellence is not just a dream but a tangible reality. Our strategic initiatives are pivotal in shaping this reality. By breaking down barriers, fostering inclusivity, and empowering girls through education and to participate actively in their own growth, CRY contributes to creating a generation of empowered women who excel in every aspect of life. As we witness the transformative impact of these initiatives, the vision of a truly equal and empowered society comes one step closer to fruition.

As CRY, we dream of a day when more children like Mamta are able to shine bright and make the nation proud. You can help! Support CRY by making a donation and helping India’s daughters pave their way to a better future.