Team Australia visit an all-women NGO Yuwa in Jharkhand

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Usman Khawaja at NGO
(Photo Source: Twitter)

Team Australia players were left spellbound when they interacted with the girls at an all-women NGO named Yuwa in Ranchi, Jharkhand recently. They felt awe-inspired after hearing the tough challenges that the girls have had to endure to be at the position where they stand at the moment. The Australian team had arrived in the city for the third Test of their ongoing 4-match Test series against India.

The cricketers had their time off and decided to visit the NGO in small groups. The event was organized with the collaboration of the Australian High Commission in India.

The NGO, Yuwa, aims at empowering women through education and sport. About 81 girls at the NGO had the opportunity to interact with the team Australia players. They gave their firsthand experiences and shared their stories with the players. Later, there were a few small events conducted which included a friendly football match too.

The Aussie spinner Steve O’Keefe was left particularly touched after meeting the young brave girls. He reflected back that he feels very privileged to know that he has had an easy life. On the contrary, these girls have to face so many hardships to sustain a living.

“It just really does put things in perspective. I look around here and think about the education and the privileged life that I had growing up. Some of these girls have to travel four or five kilometres a day just to get to work. They’re up at four, five o’clock and you realise how fortunate you are. On the flip side you realise how tough and resilient these girls are. They want to be successful, they want to break the mould and through education, they’re being able to do it,” quoted O’Keefe.

He further added that the initiative by the team management to visit the NGO was absolutely commendable. The team must know that cricket in not the be all and end all of the lives of each individual in the team. He felt heart warmed after hearing the stories from the girls.

“At times you can get caught up playing cricket thinking it’s the be all and end all and not making runs is the most important thing. Being able to have these experiences out here, listening to their stories and being able to share some of your stories it shows that cricket is more than a game. It transcends ages, genders and cultures. It’s important for us as Australian cricketers to do that and continue to do that into the future. We’ll get more well-rounded cricketers on and off the field,” he conceded.

Australia batsman Usman Khawaja also shared a picture on the social media and expressed his happiness over the visit. He quoted, “Absolute privledge to visit the girls at Yuwa today. Amazing place. Their stories were inspiring…”

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