Kalpana Roy: This Former National Team Footballer Now Sells Tea To Earn A Living

Football News

Kalpana Roy, who represented the country 10 years ago, is now running a roadside tea stall in Jalpaiguri district.

Written By Digital Desk | Mumbai | Updated On:

Around 10 years ago this woman footballer from the Jalpaiguri district in West Bengal represented the country. But fast forward to the present day, she is running a roadside tea stall in her hometown to make ends meet for her family.

Not many might heard of Kalpana Roy until now, given the lack of media coverage back in those times. But the 26-year-old has come quite a long way since then as she continues to ignite her passion for the game by coaching around 30 boys twice a day, during her free time.

Kalpana's stint as a footballer was cut short in 2013 after she suffered a serious leg injury, during a Women's League match, which is organized by the Indian Football Association. However, she still nurtures the dream of playing again by keeping herself fit.

"It took me about a year to recover. I got no financial help for the treatment from anyone. From then on, I am running the tea stall," Kalpana told PTI.

Kalpana is the youngest of five sisters, four of whom are married. Coming from a poor background, her father used to run the tea stall to provide the means for the family, but he is now suffering from old age ailments.

Though, that wasn't the only setback she had to endure during her journey. The footballer who once played as forward decided not to marry as she had to look after her ailing father and other members of the family.

She said, "I was contacted for trial for the senior national side but financial constraints forced me to stay back. I do not have a place to stay in Kolkata. Besides, if I leave, who will look after the family? My father is not well now."

Kalpana, who played four international matches as an under-19 footballer in 2008, now starts practicing with the 30 odd boys in the morning and opens the tea stall around 10 am. She closes the shop at 4 pm, goes for two hours' practice and reopens the shop after coming back.

"The clubs for which the boys play pay me Rs 3,000 per month. That money is also important to me," Kalpana said.

Kalpana said she is fit enough to play at the senior level and also experienced enough to coach. And if anyone is interested, she would also help set up a girls team taking players from north Bengal.

"I am confident that I can contribute to the game in both ways. All I need is a job so that I do not have to worry for the family's requirements. "We have plenty of talents but no infrastructure," Kalpana, who was also a member u-17 and u-19 sides of the Bengal team, lamented. 

(PTI inputs)

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