Three National-Level Football Players From Odisha Now Daily Wagers

Bhubaneswar: There was a time when these three ace footballers pulled huge crowd, and were the selectors’ sought after candidates. Today, the scenario has changed for Sankha Marandi, Kishore Tanti and Tulasi Ekka.

The three national-level football players from Odisha’s Rourkela have picked up odd jobs to make their ends meet. Kishore works as a mason while Sankha is a painter and Tulasi has engaged himself as a plumber. These jobs however, is not helping them manage their families.

Sankha, a native of Tilkanagar in Bandhamunda on outskirts of Rourkela has been a professional footballer for 15 years. During 2005 to 2020, he has represented Odisha and other reputed teams at various levels. He has played in Santosh Trophy, Subroto Cup and other important leagues and teams including the Rourkela Steel Plant side. Today, he is engaged with a construction contractor as a painters.

Kishore belongs to Jhirpani Resettlement Colony and his story is no different from Sankha. During 1992 to 2007, Kishore has played in the Santosh Trophy, Federation Cup, inter-Steel Plant matches and Kalinga Cup. Once a dynamic footballer, Kishore is working as a mason today. Lack of opportunity and assistance has restricted this talented sportsman to masonry.

Tulasi hails from Kantadhar slum and his fate too was very similar to the aforementioned footballers. An outstanding player who represented the State during 1995 to 2005 at a very young age, is working as a plumber today. Reputed football clubs used to hire these Odia talents for their precision on the field. The situation has been grim for these players.

Deprived of opportunity and motivation, Tulasi, Sankha and Kishore have appealed for Government assistance to revive their lives and connect with their passion again.