Lalgarh’s budding footballers spend day out in Kolkata

July 26th, 2010 - 11:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Bayern Munich Kolkata, July 26 (IANS) For eight youngsters of Maoist-affected Lalgarh region of West Bengal it was a dream outing in this metropolis. They not only met top officials of the state government, including the chief minister, but also went around the ground of the city’s leading soccer side Mohun Bagan.
Based in Lalgarh region of West Midnapore district, the teenagers and one boy in his pre-teens had their day out in the city for their good showing in a recent football tournament organised by the state police as a means of reaching out to the people.

Two of the eight budding soccer talents will be sent to Germany’s Bayern Munich club for training. While Purnananda Roy would go to Germany next month, Dasarath Singha is slated to follow in his footsteps in September.

“We wanted to reach out to the youngsters. We wanted to tell them that if people want to misguide them they should not listen,” state police Director General Bhupinder Singh said.

During the day, they met Governor M.K. Narayanan and Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

The chief minister, who met the children in the morning, seemed to relish every minute of the interaction.

“He is the youngest player. He is going to Germany. I saw him running. He dribbles well,” the chief minister told journalists, pointing to Dasarath Singha.

Asked whether such public relations exercises would be continued, Bhattacharjee said he has discussed the issue with Bhupinder Singh.

“There is a project. If they (state police) can carry it out we will be with them. These things will be done in some other areas also,” he said.

Narayanan, who invited the children over to the Governor’s House for tea, said it was a unique experience. “This project is being undertaken under the leadership of the police and will help establish better relations between the people of Lalgarh and West Bengal.”

Narayanan seemed at ease with the youngsters as he asked them about their favourite footballers and the July 19 tournament.

Three of the children had been brought to the city for their superb display and five others for being the principal scorers in the tournament.

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