Railway job for footballer

The  East Coast Railway has offered a job to national woman footballer  Jhili Munda, boosting her financial prospects. “The job will not only end my financial difficulties but also help me to play more and more  football matches in both national and international levels,” said Jhili, who used to roll bidis to support her family.
The 20-year-old resident of Dhuturapara in  Sambalpur town comes from a family of footballers. Her grandfather and father were popular players and participated in several matches to win laurels for Sambalpur. It was they who encouraged Jhili to play football from an early age.
Jhili first came to the notice of football aficionados in 2005 when she scored 13 goals against Manipur in an under-17 girls’ tournament in Chandigarh. “I was happy to see the overwhelming response from football lovers when I helped the Odisha team to win the gold medal in the tournament,” she said. In 2007, the budding player scored nine goals against  Tamil Nadu in an under-19 tournament. She was also instrumental in Odisha’s win in two national games in  Assam and Jamshedpur in 2009 and 2011. She also represented the country and played an international under-19 match in Kualalumpur ( Malaysia) in 2008 and again a friendly match with  Bangladesh in Dhaka.
But despite her bright career, she could not shake off her abject poverty.
“I am thankful to the railways for selecting her. It will definitely provide her strength to build up her career in football,” said Jhili’s coach Gangadhar Behera.

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