Saraswati Kundu, the captain of the women’s Kabaddi team from Burdwan University of West Bengal, is determined to continue her game despite many hardships. Her father works as a hawker to support the family. Regardless of all the financial constraints, her parents have always supported her and encouraged her to continue playing Kabbadi. Saraswati struggled from childhood but dreams of a better and stable future.
Saraswati started loving Kabbadi when at a very young age. She started playing Kabbadi when she was 9 years old in her home town Chandannagar. She later joined Burdwan University as a BA general student. With some mind-blowing performances, she now dreams to play for the country. She participated in four Senior National Games representing West Bengal. “I want to make India proud in the international arena,” she said.
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Despite a milieu of hardships, Saraswati has taken the challenge to continue with the game she so loves. The Bengal defender presently is struggling to sponsor her own kit but with the help of her team officials, Coach, and University mentors she is still able to pursue her dreams. Team Manager Sushovan Banerjee of Burdwan University says, “She lacks adequate nutrition that is needed to play Kabbadi because of her family’s financial situation. She got selected for the National games solely because of her hard work and dedication. She is one of the most dedicated players in the team.”
Saraswati is one of the most prominent faces when it comes to women’s Kabbadi in Bengal. “My inspiration is Shakshi Kumari. She also played for India in the same position as I play,” she said. Presently Saraswati is planning to get a job to support her family with an aim to work harder and with more dedication in order to improve her game. She says, “I have faced lots of struggle. I am ready to face anything that comes my way but I will never give up. I will someday achieve my dream and make my father, mother, and coach proud.”
The third edition of the Khelo India University Games is being held from May 23 to June 3 in four cities of Uttar Pradesh – Lucknow, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Gorakhpur, and Varanasi. Around 4,000 athletes from various institutions across India are set to participate in 21 different sports categories under the Under-27 age group, competing for medals. The shooting events will take place in Delhi, and the official inauguration of the Games is set to be held on May 25.