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Three rural women of Joda break gender stereotypes with support from TSF

Joda: As the world celebrates International Women’s Day today, here are the three trailblazing rural women of Joda who are breaking stereotypes and venturing into areas traditionally dominated by men. Rupashree Munda and Amlen Purty, budding footballers, along with Nirmala Laguri, a driver of heavy vehicles, are making their community proud.

Rupashree Munda, a budding footballer, stands out in her community for her sports achievements. Hailing from Camp Hutting in Roida Panchayat, Rupashree discovered her love for football when she joined the grassroots football academy of Tata Steel Foundation (TSF) in Joda in 2019. She participation in the U-17 national trial tournament in Cuttack and eventually represented the national team in football tournaments, including the Nepal SAFF games. She has also secured a spot in the U-16 national team for the upcoming SAFF games in Nepal, showcasing her dedication and skill in the sport.

Amlen Purty, also hailing from the same village as Rupashree, is another upcoming footballer who has brought pride to Odisha. Amlen found her calling in football when she joined the grassroots football academy of TSF in Joda in 2019. With the help of TSF, she participated in the Noamundi tournament of India Khelo football and earned a spot in the U-17 national trial tournament in Cuttack. Her talent and hard work paid off as she represented the national team in football tournaments, setting the stage for a promising future in the sport.

However, the story of Nirmala Laguri is different. A trailblazer who is breaking gender stereotypes to venture where no woman has gone before, Nirmala embarked on the journey of driving heavy vehicles, which was primarily a male bastion. After facing health challenges and undergoing surgery, she enrolled in HMV training supported by TSF, leading to a significant turning point in her life. She not only successfully completed the training but also received the “Best Trainee” award among her peers. Securing a job through a government scheme, Nirmala now drives a bus from Keonjhar to Joda Municipality, earning a monthly income that she saves for her children’s education.

On the occasion of International Women’s Day on March 8, Tata Steel Foundation (TSF) celebrates the brave achievements of three women from its ranks who have excelled in their respective fields.

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