Kalpana Roy, the 26-year-old who represented India as a part of the Indian women’s football team 10 years ago, is now running a roadside tea stall in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district. She used to play as a forward, did not marry as she has to look after her father and other members of the family.
She also trains about 30 boys and trains them twice a day in order to keep herself fit, as she still hopes of playing for the team again. Her career as a footballer was cut short in 2013 after she sustained a serious injury in her right leg, during a match in the Women’s League, which is conducted by the Indian Football Association.
She stated that “It took me about a year to heal. I got no financial help for the treatment from anyone. From then on, I am running the tea stall.”
She played four international matches as an under-19 footballer in 2008, now trains around 30 boys early in the morning and then opens the tea stall at around 10 am. Her father used to run the tea stall but Ms Roy had to take over as he has been quite unwell in recent times.
She closes the shop again at 4 pm, goes to practice for two hours before reopening the shop in the evening. She is the youngest of five sisters, four of whom are married. One of them stays with her. Their mother died around four years ago.