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Tababi Devi was India’s one of the renowned women footballers. Since 1995 Tababi was one of India’s indispensable footballers. Tababi had a major contribution to India’s South Asian Games title in 2010. Tababi struck six goals in only four appearances. Tababi also acquired the ‘best-emerging player’ in the AFC Championship in China. Having represented India 13 times, Tababi was the national captain also in three international competitions. After retiring from her playing career Tababi earned a C-license coaching degree and joined the grass route development of women’s football in Manipur. Presently, she has been bestowed with another honor, she has been chosen as the deputy chairman of the Women’s Committee in the All India Football Federation (AIFF). Along with that Tababi has also been co-opted into the Federation’s executive committee.
Tababi Devi’s Aspiration
The 46-year-old former Indian international wants Indian women footballers to sustain financially in the near future. She wants the prize money in the women’s national-level competition in near future. Simultaneously, the deputy chairman of the women’s committee wants women’s competitions in India to increase in numbers. Tababi said,
“I have already placed a proposal to the federation’s top brass. I want the country’s women footballers to take part in more competitions and matches. There are a lot of talented girl footballers. Unless more competitions are introduced those talented women will not get an opportunity to prove their mettle. At the same time, I will request the federation president and secretary to mull over the hike of prize money in the national-level competitions.”
The Childhood of Tababi Devi
Tababi had to face acute criticism from her family when she wanted to play the game at the age of 10 years. She stated,
“We live in Imphal. My father was a farmer. I had one elder sister and a brother. My parents were highly against my football. They never liked that I would wear a half-pant and play the game in front of others on the ground. I used to go to a nearby club to practice secretly. Even after my father knew about my practice he often used to reprimand me. They became happy only when they saw that I got a job in Manipur Police in 1997.”
Women’s Football Development in Manipur
Tababi is optimistic about the future of Indian women’s football. She revealed that the development of women’s football in Manipur has started from the grass route level and many potential girls are gradually coming up.
“A couple of competitions for the youth, especially in the under-14 level throughout the districts have been already introduced. Besides, the senior women’s football league is there where six teams take part. So I am expecting more talented girl footballers from Manipur to represent India in the future.”