Seventeen-year-old Iqra Rasool, studying in a high school is not just an ordinary schoolgirl. A resident of Dangiwacha in Rafiabad nestled in North Kashmir, she is known as Baramulla's super girl.
Her life can perhaps inspire another Dangal - only if a 22-yard pitch will replace the wrestling akhada. Iqra is known to prove her mettle on the cricket ground. Just like the Phogat sisters, boys of her town as well dare not tease her.
The young girl only dreams of representing India in the international arena besides meeting the captain of Indian Cricket Team, Virat Kohli. Much to Iqra's disappointment however, her four hand-written letters to Kohli never got delivered.
BOYS TEAM WANTS ME TO JOIN THEM: IQRA
The young woman has already taken a joint leap by breaking social taboos with her talent. She hopes to live all her dreams soon. Donning a cricket jersey, the teenager wears a hijab over her hair. The girl, who also dreams of seeing herself at a position as high as cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, has an immense love for the game that dates back to her childhood. Daughter of a bakery owner, she stayed back in school after classes to play with the boys. The youngest of six siblings in her family, she has always been an exception and faced the heat of criticism and taunts.
Iqra loves to flaunt a room full of medals and certificates in her house.
The recent bout of stone pelting and the orthodox society that she lives in, however, has put all her dreams on stake. She says, "Earlier I used to play with boys. Now I have a coach. I always find overs - bowled by girls - quite easy to bat. Members from the boys team have asked me to join them, but my mother is apprehensive... This is my dream and I am fortunate that I am living it."
Her father Ghulam Rasool Lone says, "Iqra's dreams are big. She wants to lead the Indian National Women's Team at an international arena. But to achieve this goal, she needs the support of Jammu & Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA)"
JAMMU-KASHMIR POLICE PROMISES HELP
The association may not have outright helped her, but she is getting a lot of support from an unexpected corner - the Jammu and Kashmir Police. They have vowed to come to her aid and promised her a cricket ground, required equipment and a cycle - besides promising her to get the attention of higher authorities to the issue of talent-recognition of budding cricketers. DIG, North Kashmir, Nitish Kumar told Mail Today, "Iqra is a brave girl. Braver is her father who has allowed her daughter to pursue her dream without fearing patriarchal society. JK Police will always support her." Iqra has represented her state four times at the national level at Amritsar, Goa, Haryana, Himachal and Jammu. She was first selected to represent the girl's team in her school. Later, she was selected by the JKCA in 2013 for her outstanding performance in the inter-district tournaments.