India – The Gallery and Interview with Blessy Sippora

The second camera of Goal Click has been completed and it comes from India! Our amazing and inspirational photographer was 14-year-old Blessy Sippora from Dharavi in Mumbai – one of Asia’s most densely populated slums, where Blessy’s family has lived for 40 years. Blessy has played football for two years and currently plays with the Reality Gives Girls’ Football Program.

Reality Gives is a two-part organisation – Reality Tours and Travel provides tours of Dharavi, using 80% of the profits to fund Reality Gives. Reality Gives runs a variety of projects in Dharavi, including a kindergarten with 400 children, a youth empowerment initiative, dance and art classes, a cricket project for boys and the Girl’s Football Program. In the past year over 60 girls have taken part and ages range from 11-18, tackling the common stigma against girls that prevents them having the opportunity to play sport in India.

After winning a competition amongst her teammates to write why she should be our Goal Click representative, Blessy took these fantastic photos of her teammates training. She spoke to us about the photos, what football means to her and why all Indian girls should play football, which you can read below.

Goal Click India 1

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Goal Click: What were you trying to say or show with your photos? Was there any wider meaning? 

Blessy Sippora: “I wanted to show that Indian girls can play football. I think that all girls who want to play games, not only football, should be allowed to. In India there is a mentality that girls are not going to play, girls are only working at home. And then they are married. But I think all girls want to play! I enjoyed taking the photos and all my friends helped me.”

GC: What does football mean to you? Has it changed your life in any way?

Blessy: “Football has made me strong and confident. When I was not playing football I was afraid of the dark and being alone in the dark. When I was not playing football I took my mother everywhere. Then I played football and football changed my life. Through football I thought that I am a big girl – now I’m not afraid of the dark and I’m much stronger. I have become fit and have also learned life skills like teamwork, discipline and communication to name a few.”

Goal Click India 3

Goal Click India 4

GC: What does your family think of you playing football?

Blessy: “Even though I am in my 10th grade, my mother encourages me to play because I have learned to manage time for studies and practice sessions. Both my parents are proud of me and that makes me happy! A lot of people know me now and I get chance to make new friends and visit new places. I get to play football with my sister as well, who also plays with our team.”

GC: What are your ambitions for the future?

Blessy: “I want to play at a high level. For India! My dream is to play professional football and encourage girls from Dharavi to take up football.”

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GC: What have you enjoyed about taking the photos for Goal Click?

Blessy: “I like that at the moment when you are taking photos you think only about the photo you are taking. I like that when I was taking photos everything was normal and real, not taking a still with no movement. My favourite ones were standing in the rain! I am really happy that I got the opportunity to showcase how football is played in my country – and that even girls can play football! I am not a professional photographer but I can take good pictures. I have the best team and the best coaches who are always there to help and support me.”

Here is a photo of Blessy receiving her camera and getting a short tutorial before she took the photos…

Goal Click India Blessy 1

And this was the preparation Blessy did before she took her photos – a shot list of what she wanted to capture. Incredible commitment to the Goal Click cause!

You can follow Reality Gives on Twitter @realitygives and see their website here: www.realitygives.org

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One thought on “India – The Gallery and Interview with Blessy Sippora

  1. Abderahim says:

    Hello, i played fotlbaol from 7th through the 12th grade. It is a physical and dangerous sport. Having said that, there is not a time in my life which i wish i could return to more. The game, the passion, the feeling u get running onto a field on a friday night under the lights The people i shed blood, sweat, and tears with were more than just teamates, they were brothers. When i told my father that i wanted to play he said no at first He coached fotlbaol for many years and didn think i was cut out for such a sport. But after a few seasons he was deffinetly pleased at my progress. He was at every game i ever played. Football became a huge part of our relationship and we became really good friends as a result. So yes fotlbaol is tough and the possibility of injury is there, to deny a kid these life experiences would be a much greater tradgedy than a broken bone!!!

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