Slum soccer team striker Harshika Vishvakarma gets her visa for Homeless World Cup
Following this paper's report and the CM's wife's intervention, slum soccer star gets her travel documents in the nick of time
Indian Slum Soccer women's team's main striker Harshika Vishvakarma, who could not accompany the contingent to Wales for the 17th Homeless World Cup, as she had failed to get a visa on time, will leave for Cardiff today. Vishwakarma's visa application was expedited following a mid-day report highlighting her plight and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis's wife Amruta's intervention. Amruta Fadnavis is also the patron of the Slum Soccer body.
Harshika Vishvakarma, who has missed out on her team's three warm-up games in Scotland, will now reach Cardiff well in time for India's first match of the Homeless World Cup on July 27. "When I went to the visa office in Mumbai, I was told that it will take five days to process my visa. But after mid-day highlighted my issue and the CM's wife spoke to the authorities in the Delhi Embassy, I got my visa in two days. I'm very grateful to all who have helped me in this matter," Vishvakarma told mid-day yesterday.
Vishvakarma, who hails from Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh, scored 18 goals during team's selection matches earlier this month. She is now looking forward to add to that tally in Wales. "I want to overcome the frustration I endured during this visa issue by playing well at the World Cup. My target is 30 goals from the 13 or 14 matches which we will be playing," added Vishvakarma.
The Indian men's and women's teams are ranked 25th and ninth respectively on the world stage. The Homeless World Cup is an annual football tournament organised by the Homeless World Cup Foundation, which advocates the end of homelessness through football.
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