Sports ground for women’s football inaugurated by Parcham Collective

A new sports ground in Mumbra was inaugurated by Parcham Collective with a wall painting event that was contributed to by artists, activists and political leaders

Parcham Collective, an organisation that facilitates football practice sessions for adolescent girls in Mumbra, Thane, organised a wall painting event in the area on October 2nd in the Fatima Bi Savitri Bai sports ground for girls, as an inauguration of the ground that the girls will now use for training officially. “The ground was reserved for the girls by the Thane municipal corporation, and the opposition party arranged for appropriate landscaping of the ground, a first by local authorities and the opposition.” said Sabah Khan, co-founder of Parcham. The name of the ground was an ode to Fatima Shaikh and Savitri Bai Phule, who, together pioneered education for girls in Maharashtra, despite the differences in religious backgrounds. “The day of the event, Gandhi Jayanti, was intentional, as the values of the organisation aligned with Gandhi’s principles of peace, harmony and valuing the constitution” said Sabah.

Parcham is currently training close to a hundred girls in football, and organising events and competitions for them. It was initially started to bring together young Muslim girls from informal settlements and bolster their confidence towards financial independence. By bringing girls from Hindu and Muslim backgrounds to the same ground, Parcham hopes to involve them in healthy play and combat communal tensions in society.

Many artists, including cartoonist Uttam Ghosh and visual artists Siraj Sheikh and Vinit Lawande, contributed to the wall paintings. The girls were included in the ideation and painting process. Jogitha Jemma Kanapally, who is the founder of Science Didi, an educational platform, also participated. Local corporators including Nationalist Congress Party leader of Thane Municipal corporation, Shanu Pathan and MLA Jitendra Awadh were present at the event and contributed their time.

Read more: Community leaders of tomorrow: Mumbai is full of opportunities

girl playing football
Mumbra girls are given a chance to reclaim public spaces as accessible to women
Credit: Parcham Collective
mural of Fatime Shaikh and Savitribai Phule
The name of the ground is an ode to Fatima Shaikh and Savitri Bai Phule, both pioneers of women’s education in Maharashtra
Credit: Parcham Collective
football team participated in wall painting
Football players at Parcham contribute to wall painting
Credit: Parcham Collective
activists lend helping hand
Many activists participated in the wall painting event
Credit: Parcham Collective
artist drawing a mural
Cartoonist Uttam Ghosh drawing a picture of Savitri Bai Phule. Credit: Parcham Collective
flying woman wearing studs
Indu Harikumar designed this image of a girl waving her dupatta and wearing football studs. A poem by Majaz, from which Parcham draws its name, would soon be added, “Tere Maathe pe ye aanchal bahot hi khoob hai lekin
Tu is aanchal ka ek Parcham bana leti to acha tha” meaning, ‘the scarf on your head looks good, but it would look better in the form of a flag” Credit: Parcham Collective
COVID guidelines adhered to in the event
Girls from Parcham adhere to COVID-19 norms during the event. Credit: Parcham Collective
girl help level land
Parcham girls help out in leveling the land for their new sports ground. Credit: Parcham Collective
young girls help in painting
Young girls expressed their creativity by painting murals about peace, and harmony. Credit: Parcham Collective

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