This Kerala village school was once a playground of hockey dreams

If there was one place where young poor girls could dream of playing hockey in Kerala, it’s the SNDP school in Pathanamthitta district’s Malayalapuzha | All photos - Special Arrangement

Ten-year-old Snehalakshmi misses her school and friends a lot. But there is one more thing that she misses the most—playing hockey.

A student of SNDP School in Kerala’s Malayalapuzha, Snehalakshmi used to practice hockey every day until Covid-19 struck last year and forced schools to go online. For over a year now, she has not touched the hockey stick, and badly misses her school, the playground, her playmates and the daily practice sessions.

For a young girl coming from a lower middle class family, her dying hopes got a boost last month when the Indian men’s team won the bronze medal in Tokyo Olympics, after a medal drought of 41 years. The women’s hockey team too did really well, coming close to winning a medal after starting out badly with a 1–5 loss to Netherlands.

For Snehalakshmi, who had gone to Pathanamthitta town with her friends to celebrate India’s victory, this was enough to revive her grand dreams.

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