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A Team Without A Nation | Tibetan Women’s Football Team In India | Unique Stories From India


Tap the bell icon on the YouTube app And never miss out on unique stories from 101 India The girls you saw in the video are from The Tibetan’s Women football team Who were asked to represent Tibet in the Dallas
International Cup Their visas, however, were rejected Because Tibet is not recognized as a country By other nations. I’m on my way to Clement Town, Dehradun
to meet these girls and understand The six-decade-long struggle of Tibetan refugees Good morning. It is 5.30 am. It is very cold out here The team comes together to train twice a year
and before every big tournament And they have invited me to attend this camp
and see how they train Good morning Sir. How are you? It is nice to see the sunrise after so long Gompo Dorjee who is coaching the team
is a former Tibetan men’s national team player And The brains behind this Camp, is Cassie Childers An American teacher who came to India to study Buddhism But found herself in the midst of this refugee situation Tibetan girls don’t play football They had a men’s national team which was doing Some pretty cool stuff for Tibet But they didn’t have a women’s team And that was when it was like a lightning
strike Tell me about the camp then When did it start and where is it now The way we did it was We contacted seven different Tibetan boarding schools And just said Each school just send three girls I’m there during the winter holiday And these 27 girls show up And most of them had never touched a ball before She is not Tibetan But she still helps our Tibetan Women’s Football team Because we don’t have any country We are refugees here So that is why she helped us This Tibetan Women’s Football team was formed
in 2012 And so far it has engaged more than 3,000
young Tibetan women Living in exile Playing from Tibet is like following my history And my roots where I am from Actually, I should have been in Tibet If China didn’t grab Tibet After the failed anti-Chinese uprising in
1959 Most of Tibet’s monasteries were destroyed And thousands of Tibetans were believed to be killed The 14th Dalai Lama fled Tibet And set up a government in exile in India The main issue is human rights We Tibetan don’t have much human rights Whether they say Tibet is a part of China I disagree China is a different country And Tibet is a different country They occupied What I do know is what these players tell
me They are not allowed to express The true essence of their Tibetan Culture They are not allowed to live their way of
life There is no person in the world who is more
important to Tibetans Than the Dalai Lama And they are not allowed to have a photo of the Dalai Lama So there is no freedom And for many Tibetans If they can give their children the chance At something better Like coming to India and getting a good education And being around the Dalai Lama Then they will do it They will take the chance Most of them were sent at the age of eight, Nine, ten from Tibet By their parents alone Yangdan Lhamo trekked over the Himalayas When she was thirteen And even survived a week without food Since 13 years, I have not met my family Because I cannot get a visa It is very difficult to get a visa I call my parents back home but we can’t talk
about Tibet The Chinese Government taps our phones There is a fear amongst the Tibetans who live
under the Chinese rule. They try their best to never make any mention
of the country And the rich culture they have lost. Imagine, those girls who doesn’t have a family
here They are worried when they flee Maybe the Chinese Government will torture them You can understand What they are going through After fleeing from Tibet Adjusting to a new society for these girls Becomes difficult Organized sports is a way for Tibetan Women To enrich their lives And have a more positive influence within Their community On the first day, the thing which struck me
the most Was that, they didn’t speak these girls They are often not given the opportunity to Express themselves and speak I realized I am going to have not just concentrate On football here This is gonna have to be like a full empowerment curriculum After football practice, the players attend
an empowerment session Where the idea is to create a safe space for them to talk About issues of gender equality, societal
pressures and the Tibetan cause I am the only girl amongst 5 brothers and
I am the youngest It is very hard to deal with them If you don’t accept my opinion Then why did you sent me to school I will tell you one time, when I decided not
to give up When we were at the American Embassy in New Delhi And when you girls came outside Gompo was folding the passports I knew we didn’t get the visas Then something changed And what it was, was you girls When I looked over and saw you writing this letter Making a video And then said not giving up If they don’t give up, then I don’t give up Football is just a tool to attract Like how you use sugar to attract the ants It is a tool We have to attract them, make them play and
empower them Tibetan Women’s Football team is like an other
small family for me We live together, eat together and pray together It is another part of my happy life Cassie tell us about some fond memories and
memorable incidents? Things that happened We got this invitation rather suddenly, to
go to Germany Two months before the actual tournament They called me, they had heard about us They said we want you to come There is going to be Chinese team here They got the significance of this That was part of the invitation email? P.S: There is going to be a Chinese team here And I’m like okay. We are going We had talked about it in advance What are we going to do when we meet the Chinese team You could see it written on their faces They were taught to hate these people We talked about it a bit and one of them said We are going to be friends with them A little van pulls up And somebody yells “The Chinese team is here” They go right upto the van The Chinese girls are getting out And they start hugging them and welcoming them in Mandarin They asked us, If you are a Tibetan, than
why have you come from India We told them, we don’t have freedom, we don’t
have a country I don’t think fighting is better to achieve
freedom Through sports and conversation through sports
and being friendly We can do something Sports can bridge divides that politics can’t Tibetan athletes have the opportunity to initiate A new form of dialogue With the Chinese and the rest of the world We have so much as full citizens of a powerful country But that’s just a matter of chance At the end of the day, there are certain human rights That everyone on the planet should be ensured Tibetan women with their football are fighting For these rights There is nothing that these girls want more Than to be able to help Tibet To be able to help their families back in
Tibet Through this team, through football, I try
to provide them this platform Every time they go out on to the ground With the Tibetan flag on their jersey It really means something to them That flag is outlawed in Tibet Since we can’t go to Dallas We are going to make our own tournament right here And we are going to call it ‘The Never Give Up Cup’ We are inviting three Indian teams We are going to show them what Tibetan Hospitality And Tibetan culture is made of And show that we can play Hosts too And create wonderful memories for others

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