Kalimpong, 13 Dec:
Many talented footballers from our region have disappeared from the scene over the years. Of the many problems which we have, the lack of professional clubs is one major reason for this grim reality.
Players from the hills of Sikkim and Darjeeling need to work extra hard to get themselves noticed by bigger clubs across the country. For some the wait is a never ending process. They keep on playing in the dusty fields of the hills and with time compromise with the fact that the next step is impossible for them.
23-year-old Dewasis George Rai is one talented midfielder who is currently playing in Tripura League for Jewels Association. He is one such example of a player from the hills waiting for his chance. Every person who follows football in Kalimpong will agree that Dewasis is an exceptional player.
Born in Algarah, near Kalimpong, to Milan Rai and Deborah Rai, Dewasis started playing football at an early age. He started schooling from St George School where he started honing his football skills. Dewasis then moved to SUMI in Kalimpong and completed his class XII. During his time at the school known for its football, he participated in many tournaments along with the Subroto Mukherjee Bengal Region where they reached the finals.
Dewasis has also played for many clubs in Kalimpong including Share FC with whom he won the Sukna Gold Cup in 2014. He was awarded the Player of the Tournament Trophy as well.
This youngster from Algarah also had a good campaign with Todo FC in the Arunachal Pradesh Super League. Dewasis moved to Kolkata and played a season with Police AC in the League there. He has also played in the prestigious Santosh Trophy representing Tripura along with ONGC Cup and North East Tomchon Football Tournament.
In the opening edition of the Siliguri Premier League held this year in May, Dewasis was declared the Highest Scorer. He also helped his team Madhur Milan Sangh to win the League.
“I have always worked hard and played football to the best of ability but sometimes it gets frustrating as I have not been able to take that step into professional football. Soon I will have to think about other options as time is running out but for now I will keep on trying,” says Dewasis.
When asked about singing being the other option as he has a very good voice, Dewasis shrugs it off and says, “I sing just for fun but football is what I live for and will be the happiest if I can make it as a professional footballer some day.”
As mentioned earlier, there are many like Dewasis across the Darjeeling hills and Sikkim who are talented but have limited options to look forward to. It is hard for them but the passion these boys have for football triumphs over everything else and they keep playing the beautiful game.