District Sports Office deprives U-17 girls of a proper changing room during their football tourney at SAI venue; It was the same case last year at St Francis ground in Borivli
The absence of changing rooms for girls at the St Francis D'Assisi ground in Borivli last year saw the District Sports Office (DSO) shift the surburban leg of the girls U-17 football tourney to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) ground in Kandivli this year. But shockingly, the situation is no better at Kandivli.
One of the goal posts with a torn net during yesterday's DSO U-17 match between Bombay Scottish (Powai) and St John's Universal High School (Goregaon) at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Complex in Kandivli. Pics/Nimesh Dave
Yesterday, girls from Bombay Scottish (Powai), St John's Universal High School (Goregaon), Mary Immaculate (Borivli) and St Lawrence (Borivli) were all forced to travel back to their schools in soiled attire given the absence of a changing room at the venue.
Scottish beat St John's 4-0, while Mary Immaculate defeated St Lawrence 2-0 in mucky conditions yesterday. However, the real 'victor' was the DSO and its casual attitude towards its participants. Last year, mid-day had reported how some girls were forced to change in their school bus.
"We can't ask our girls to change in public. We made them change into their match outfit in school before coming here and now we have to take them back in their soiled state to school so that they can change securely. This will take over an hour. It's unhygienic. DSO changed the venue, but haven't changed their attitude," said Bombay Scottish coach Dinesh Bangera.
Bombay Scottish (Powai) girls head back to their school bus in their match attire following their District Sports Office (DSO) U-17 football fixture against St John's Universal High School (Goregaon) at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Complex in Kandivli yesterday. In the absence of a changing room at the venue, the girls had no option but to return to their schools in soiled match clothes
A parent of one of the girls slammed DSO too. "As parents, we want our daughters to be safe. My daughter didn't know I was coming to see her play. I'm shocked at the conditions here. There's no proper drinking water and God forbid, if there's an injury, I see no doctor or even ice at hand. The DSO do not even provide a ball. They ask teams to get one. Even the net of one of goals was torn," said the livid parent, who did not wish to be named.
Another school coach said on condition of anonymity: "Changing rooms are a must, especially when tournaments have girls participating. These girls are in their teens. But the organisers are not bothered. For them, finishing the event quickly is all that matters."
DSO official Sanjog Dhole promised to take up the issue with his seniors. "We shifted the venue to SAI, thinking that since there is everything available in the campus here, we will be able to provide girls with a separate changing room. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. There is just one washroom and the girls have to make do with it. We have a DSO meeting coming up and I will inform my seniors about the ground reality," said Dhole.