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Padma Shri Awardee O Bembem Devi feted
Oinam Bembem Devi became the first Indian women footballer to be feted with the Padma Shri Award and seventh among Indian footballers who were awarded earlier with the Padma Shri title.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated on 11 Nov 2021, 9:27 pm

(PHOTO: IFP)

(PHOTO: IFP)

 

International women footballer Oinam Bembem Devi was felicitated by the All Manipur Football Association (AMFA) on being bestowed the prestigious title of Padma Shri Award by the President of India on her successful career in football for the last 20 years.

Oinam Bembem Devi became the first Indian women footballer to be feted with the Padma Shri Award and seventh among Indian footballers who were awarded earlier with the Padma Shri title.

The soft spoken Bembem Devi, who had represented India as skipper on numerous occasion, said, “The stage where I have reached today took a lots of hurdles and rejections but I continued to work hard and shared my ideas as well listened to the elders, especially my parent institution All Manipur Football Association (AMFA) on where and what step needs to be done.”

ALSO READ: Never give up your dreams, pursue them: Padma Shri Oinam Bembem Devi

She advised upcoming players not to take their own decision but put forward the ideas, consult the elders or Association for a better prospect in the future.

She added that she had set her vision to play at least for 20 of professional football since the day she took to football.

Oinam Bembem Devi had gained early experiences from AMFA and started playing in Sub-Junior in 1991 and then catapulted to Senior team in 1993-94 and started representing Manipur. She started playing alongside boys and other local clubs including Pioneer, Sun Club and her current MPSC team.

Bembem Devi is also the first Indian footballer to play overseas in Maldives in 2014-15. She also applied for Arjuna Award in 2014 and 2015 but both applications got rejected as India never fared better than Asian continent. Again she applied the next year with better credentials as she was featured among the legendary footballers in FIFA Weekly magazine and she got the award in 2017.

Earning more laurel as she was picked among the 12 legendary Indian footballers, being the lone women among the lots, she was felicitated by the Prime Minister for her contribution to Indian football.

Scribes of Bengal in consultation with AIFF had bestowed her the title of ‘Durga of Indian Football’ for her fighting spirit and the zeal in leading the Indian football.

AMFA president M Ratankumar Singh and Manipur Olympic Association general secretary Sunil Elangbam lauded Bembem Devi's effort at AMFA office on Thursday. 

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

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