Kalpana Roy, Who Played Football For India, Now Runs Roadside Tea Stall

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Kalpana Roy closes her tea shop in the afternoon to go and practice, coach others (Representational)

Jalpaiguri:

26-year-old Kalpana Roy, who represented the country 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 also coaches around 30 boys and trains them twice a day in order to keep herself fit, as she still nurtures the dream of playing for the team again.

Kalpana Roy's stint as a footballer was cut short in 2013 after she suffered a serious injury in her right leg, during a match in the Women's League, which is conducted by the Indian Football Association.

"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," Ms Roy told news agency PTI.

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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 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."

Ms Roy is the youngest of five sisters, four of whom are married. One of them stays with her. Their mother died around four years ago.

The footballer, who used to play as a forward, did not marry as she has to look after her father and other members of the family.

Ms Roy, who 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.

She closes the shop again at 4 pm, goes to practice for two hours before reopening the shop in the evening.

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

Ms Roy says she is fit enough to play for India at the senior level and also experienced enough to coach. "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," she said.

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