Football with a different goal

26 May,2024 05:25 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Hiren Kotwani

Oscar winner Guneet, and Ashvini back Kicking Balls, a docu about how Rajasthan villages are combating child marriage by training girls in football

Guneet Monga Kapoor and Ashvini Yardi

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Playing a sport builds character. Director Vijayeta Kumar saw it when she chanced upon some girls in Ajmer, noticing how the game boosted their confidence. That sowed the seeds for Kicking Balls, her documentary that studies how a not-for-profit organisation is working in three Rajasthan villages to make their girls independent and combat child marriage. "This film began as an exploration of everyday feminism and courage," she says.

Three women producers - Oscar winner Guneet Monga Kapoor, Ashvini Yardi and Achin Jain - have united to back Kicking Balls. Monga says it was a no-brainer to support the docu as it told the story of 200 girls, who learn about sisterhood and agency through the sport. "Each year, 12 million girls are married before the age of 18. That's 23 girls every minute. Our effort is to tell stories that ignite conversations and spark change in the policies of the country."

Vijayeta Kumar

The makers, along with She Leads Impact Fund, recently hosted a screening in Delhi, urging for strengthened national and state-level policies to eliminate child marriage by 2030. Yardi adds, "Working with Guneet on the topic allowed us to validate that films can stand for more."

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