Games won & fame lost: From football grounds to rearing goats

Once a national football player, Tanuja Bage from Odisha is now rearing goats to make ends meet

Jharsuguda: Wearing shoes and gloves, Tanuja Bag of Jharsuguda was once defending the goalpost of the national women football team but life took an ugly turn and she is now struggling to make her ends meet.

Tanuja was part of the national football team as goalkeeper for four times. She has also played multiple international matches.

“For the first time I played at the national level in the year 2005 and later became part of the team in some tournaments. Now, I am living in extremely difficult conditions,” said Tanuja urging the government to provide her a job or monthly pension.

Manasi Panda, a Jharsuguda resident, said, “I came to know about Tanuja madam recently. She has played international matches for the country. I request the government to extend help to her and others like her.”

Between 2003 and 2011, Tanuja was selected in national football and also rugby teams. During the period, she received multiple trophies and certificates but they are just pieces of paper for her now as she is in distress and her condition is miserable.

Responding to the issue, Jharsuguda collector Jyotiranjan Pradhan assured that the administration will look into the matter and extend all possible help to the footballer.

“We have already met Tanuja; we will make some arrangements soon to ensure that she earns a living by engaging herself in a good job,” said Pradhan.