Kolkata, June 16: Footballer Kusumita Das lives in a village named Sandeshkhali in the Sundarban region.
She comes to Kolkata from her village, travelling around three-and-half-hours through boats, train and then by bus every morning to continue her practice.
She is now one of the most dependable central defenders in Bengal women's squad that won the national championships twice in last two years, after a couple of years’ gap.
Kusumita’s consistent performance with Bengal team had ensured a place in the women’s Indian squad recently.
Still, Kusumita has to go to a local sewing factory in spite of absolute exhaustion after returning from training every day!
Along with her parents who work farming on a temporary basis. Kusumita has a sister and a brother.
Since her childhood Kusumita chose to play football. She played with her brothers and local boys with equal effort. Even Kusumita did not bother if she was badly fouled during the play.
Her father once asked her to continue study. But Kusumita said on Thursday, “I could not have survived if I had chosen study. That is why, after completing eighth standard in a local school I left studies and began to practice football.”
But the unfortunate reality is that Kusumita, despite having represented Bengal and senior India for a couple of times, is not being able to survive financially.
Her work at a small sewing factory is on temporary basis. So, she quit the job last week after getting another temporary job in Kolkata Police.
Kusumita said, “I work in the green police department. The job is to assist traffic police standing on the roadside. It is a daily basis job. If someone gets absent then she will not earn for that day.”
A movie has been made on Kusumita, but the footballer did not get her due.
The Bengali movie will come up soon but Kususmita when asked whether she was given handsome royalty, the 26-year-old lamented, “I have been given a paltry amount of royalty. I need a permanent job. Otherwise it will be difficult for me to continue football.”