Having scored 29 international goals for Nepal’s national foot team, ‘Samba’ has not only established herself as a ferocious striker, but has also become an inspiration for other Nepali young women.
Now 23, Sabitra grew up working in the fields of Pamchok village in Lamjung. The second of four sisters, she did not wear kurtas or saris and was a bit of a ‘tom boy’ with short hair and blonde highlights, which earned her the nickname ‘Samba’ after the Brazilian dance.
Sabitra wore football boots for the first time for a women’s match in a neighbouring village. But her career kicked off when she was invited to play for the APF Club in kathmandu.
As she prepared to leave for the city, she was told that girls should not take such a journey alone. But Sabitra ignored that advice and snide comments from her neighbours.
Today she is able to help her father pay the tuition fees of her sisters and brothers at home, a football field is being built in her village in Lamjung, and the neighbours who dissuaded her now welcome Sabitra with pride, saying, “Take other young girls from the village to play football with you.”
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