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A special day for JFC players off the field

WINNING MOMENTS: JFC players pose with special children at Jeevika in Sonari, Jamshedpur, on Wednesday. Picture by Bhola Prasad

Jamshedpur: Players of Jamshedpur FC spent a fun day off field as they interacted with the special students of Sonari-based NGO Jeevika on Wednesday.

After cutting the New Year cake, the players were treated to songs and dance by the students. While striker Siddharth Singh patted Ankit Mukherjee on the back for belting out the Kuch Kuch Hota Hai number Tum paas aaye, centre-back Sairuat Kima hugged Ravi Ranjan for coming up with Altaf Ra-za's qawwali Tum to thehre pardesi. Ravi also displayed his dancing prowess amid applause from JFC members.

"Money simply cannot buy the smile of these students. It feels very nice to be here and interact with them. Their sporting achievements are awesome. Good to know that Jeevika is taking care of its students," Siddharth said about the intellectually-challenged students, some of who have represented India in international competitions.

Kima, who spent most of the time clicking selfies with the students, said the society should come forward to promote people with intellectual impairment. "I am glad that I got an opportunity to come and understand the challenges faced by them. The sight of the smiling students here is worth crores," he said.

Forward Farukh Choudhary, winger Jerry Mawihmingthanga, defender Karan Amin and JFC media manager Souptikk Das also had a memorable time.

"It's a proud moment for me. I feel very humbled after mingling with these students," Farukh said as teammate Jerry spent time watching special student Upkar Singh mimic animal sounds.

Sonari-resident and Jeevika manager N. Sai Krishna said the visit of the JFC players was a dream come true for him.

" Bahut achha laga. Mujhe ISL match dekhna hai. Mujhe JFC players se milne ka bahut mann tha (I felt very well. I want to watch an ISL match. I was very keen to meet the JFC players)," Krishna said.

Jeevika founder Avtar Singh, a former seven-time national cycling champion, said he appreciated the gesture shown by the footballers.

Sukhdeep Kaur, secretary of the NGO, said they wanted to invite all the 22 members of the JFC team but could welcome only five because of space constraints.

"We are very happy and thankful that the players spent some time with our students," she added.

Live music

Calcutta-based singer Kinjal Chattopadhyay will perform during the ISL match between Jamshedpur FC and Mumbai City FC in steel city on January 5. This will be JFC's fourth home match.

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