Kashmir: Young Khalid Hamid overcomes social obstructions to become a footballer

Hilal Rasul is the most qualified football coach in Kashmir now after completing pro-license coaching recently.

Written by: Sujata Sarkar
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Srinagar, Jan 20: There is a silent revolution going on in Jammu and Kashmir initiated by a man named Hilal Rasul. Rasul is the most qualified football coach in Kashmir now after completing pro-license coaching recently.

But Rasul gave up his own career as a coach by deciding not to leave the state and join any other Indian club.

Kashmir: Young Khalid Hamid overcomes social obstructions to become a footballer

Rather, he found out those depleted Kashmiri youngsters whose normal life was shattered due to loss of their family member’s involvement in the terrorist movement in Kashmir since the 90s. Rasul has been trying to groom such boys to help them establish their career as footballers.

One such youth coached by Rasul is Khalid Bin Hamid. Khalid's father Abdul Hamid himself was a very popular goalkeeper in Kashmir. He represented Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) in the state league and was also employed by the SMC.

Unfortunately, in 1992 Abdul Hamid involved himself in the terrorist movements and died in an encounter. He was only 31-years-old when he died while Khalid was only six months' old.

Khalid is now 24 and studies in Kashmir University. After coming in touch with Hilal Rasul a couple of years ago, Khalid seems rejuvenated.

He spoke over phone recently, “While growing up, we had to face a lot of social obstruction. Everybody pointed fingers at our family members, my brothers, sisters (now married) and also on my mother. We were in dire financial distress that time. Had not my mother been there we would not have survived. My mother Rubina is so brave and courageous that she shrugged off all the hurdles and protected us from social ignominy.”

At the same time, since Kahlid’s father was a popular goalkeeper, it didn't become much difficult for him to become a goalkeeper.

"I asked Hilal sir whether he would teach me football. He was so nice that he took me to Lonestar FC immediately,” he added.

Khalid, who has already represented his university on a couple of occasions, is aiming to perform in the forthcoming second division I-League, starting next week. He wants to play in the ISL and then his dream is to play abroad.

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