Image Credits: Rugby India
KISS, which is the largest tribal institute of the world, provides food, accommodation and health care free of charge to 50,000 (30,000 existing students and 20,000 graduates) poorest of the poor tribal children for them to have a chance to pursue their academics from kindergarten to post-graduation and as well as vocational training. The current Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology rugby women's team, which will take part in the Khelo India University Games in Odisha from 22 February 2020 to 1 March 2020, consists of players who joined the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences at a very young age.
"There are four players in the women's KIIT team, who are currently playing in the Indian senior rugby team. All the players in the KIIT women's team are from tribal groups. They don't have facilities for rugby in their villages and their parents don't allow them to wear shorts and play sports. Once they joined the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, they got a chance to change their lives," said Munna Murmu, the men's and women's rugby coach at Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology.
Murmu, who started coaching in 2015, is also a current rugby player for the senior Indian team.
"I am also a current rugby player. I play for the senior Indian team. I started coaching in 2015. Once I became a coach, I have reduced the number of appearances for the Indian team so that I can work with my students," said the coach.
After conducting three successful editions of the Khelo India Youth Games, the Indian government has decided to conduct the inaugural edition of the Khelo India University Games to unearth more talent for the Olympics. Murmu believes that the competition will be a great platform for all junior players to showcase their skills.
"With the inclusion of rugby in the Khelo India University Games, the rugby players will get even more opportunities to move forward in the sport. It will be a good platform for junior players. If they play well in the Khelo India University Games then they can get a chance to play for India because there will be scouts at the tournament looking for talented players," said Murmu.