The Soccer Journey of Sovabazar’s Ambitious Girls

A group of ambitious girls in Sovabazar, faced societal opposition to their soccer dreams. CRY America project Sanlaap emerged as their support, providing a platform for empowerment. The girls eagerly enrolled in a football coaching course, envisioning a future in the sport. However, they has to face a lot of challenges.

Their parent would not approve of the girls wearing sport uniforms. The project team counselled the parents about the positive impact that soccer could have on the girls’ lives and managed to convince them to agree.

The absence of a nearby playground further complicated their journey. Project Sanlaap, recognizing the need, facilitated discussions with the local council member, who understood the importance of providing equal opportunities for girls in sports and granted them exclusive access to Kumortuli Playground.

This space not only served as a training ground but also became a symbol of their resilience against societal norms. Sanlaap’s unwavering support and advocacy, paved the way for these aspiring soccer players to break through barriers, proving that determination, negotiation, and community support can shatter even the most ingrained obstacles.

*Name changed and image used for representation purpose only.

Kolkata’s red light areas are infamous for being one of the largest in Asia. One or more adult members in families here are engaged in sex trade. Because of the cycle of poverty, discrimination, and the kinds of social pressure children face in these locations, they are often at risk of being pushed towards becoming commercial sex workers themselves. Many are trafficked and child marriage is often used as a tool by the traffickers.

CRY America project Sanlaap works to prevent children from child trafficking, child labor and child marriage. Children are rescued from prostitution and child trafficking and are connected with survivor groups and counselled. The key activities which take place are strengthening of youth groups, enrolment of children from 6 to 18 years in school and youth led advocacy events.


vulnerable children received coaching for school retention


children re-enrolled in school


children attended psychosocial wellbeing workshop


youth attended life skill sessions


children engaged in the football coaching


youth provided with employment opportunities

● Evening child activity center in 3 red light areas

● Economic Empowerment of 20 young adults to prevent second generation prostitution.

● Ensuring Psycho-social well-being of 40 restored survivors of trafficking & unsafe migration.

● Reintegration of 10 survivors of Trafficking and Unsafe Migration.

● Formation of 1 Survivors Collective.

● 10 Life Skill education and development training for 270 children and youth

● 12 Trainings of youth Leaders and children on cyber safety

2023 Grant Disbursed $24,424