Belkulai Chandrakumar Adharchandra Vidyapeeth is approximately 50 km from Calcutta Maidan. The hockey team is being prepared in this school of Uluberia.
Children from poor and lower middle class families come to study in this school. Like other schools in rural Bengal, football was played in summer and cricket in winter in Belkulai school grounds. At the end of 2014, Poonam Bhattacharya, a resident of Andul, Howrah, became the head teacher of this school.
Poonamdevi used to practice hockey in the school where she used to teach. Coming to the new school, he decided to teach hockey there as well. Poonamdevi called Kolkata Maidan hockey player and national hockey umpire Imran Azad based on previous acquaintances. In the beginning of 2015, practice started at Belkulai school ground. Imran said, “After coming here, the parents are explained the rules and regulations of hockey. After starting practice, I realized that they are picking up the game quickly.”
According to the sources of Howrah District School Sports Sangsad, currently 16 students of Howrah District School Team (Girls Division) are students of that school. The team finished as runners-up in Inter-District School Hockey in 2016. Sangsad Secretary Pradeep Kole said, Belkulai’s school students Hajira Khatun, Zohra Khatun, Rabia Khatun and Bindia Khatun have already played for Bengali school hockey team and junior team in other states. Six-seven people from that school are now playing in the Kolkata Women’s Hockey League.
But what Imran and Pradeep Babu are thinking about is the infrastructural problem. The field in front of the school is rough. Due to lack of money, goalkeeper’s specific clothes could not be bought. Cannot provide nutritious food.
In the words of the head teacher Poonamdevi, “In order to sustain the success, the necessary infrastructure must be created. A gym and the field are very much needed to be fit for playing hockey.”