India is making steady progress in making gender parity a reality in the country. With more women taking up executive roles in corporate companies, they're making headway in the armed forces and are also taking up sports as a profession. Traditionally male-dominated fields are opening up for women and they're shattering the glass ceiling while they're at it.
Meet, Hadiya Hakeem, a Class 12 student from Chendamangallur Higher Secondary School near Mukkam in Kerala, who is proving that women are no less than men when it comes to being a diehard football fan.
A video of her freestyling football at the school grounds has gone viral and she has been flooded with invites to inaugurate football tournaments.
"I was keen to play football but there’s no opportunity for girls here. There is not even a girl’s football team here. So, I wished to make use of the interval of the tournament and exhibit my skill," says Hadiya.
On January 7, Hadiya approached the school authorities to display her freestyle skills during the ongoing annual soccer tournament. The teachers and management were left shocked at the love and sheer expertise at the game. "She has given goosebumps to all of us. Hadiya is a big motivation for not only students but also teachers," said Saleem N K, Hadiya’s teacher.
Hadiya has been interested in football since childhood and learned her skills by watching her brothers play the game. She was in Qatar at the time and played for her school team until the 10th grade, after which her family moved to Chendamangallur.
"Our school too does not have a football team for girls. But I never stopped my bonding with the ball as I practiced freestyle indoors," she added.
Her father, Abdul Hakeem, is also a former football player. When asked who her idols were she said they were Mohammed Salah and Christiano Ronaldo. Her favourite team is Brazil and club is Real Madrid.
Hadiya, you're an inspiration to us all. We hope that your school does start a women's football team. 🙌
Featured Image: Instagram
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