Football is woven into the very fabric of Lyari. The love for football is so deep that you will find at least one member of each household associated with football at the district, provincial or national level. But being a female footballer is something new and dauntless for Lyari. Maikan is one of those female footballers who are courageous enough to challenge the stereotypical image of a football player.
Maikan is a student and loves playing football. She dreams of becoming a professional football player. After her school, she joins a local club ‘Jafa’ in the neighbourhood for football training. But doing so in the community is not an easy task. She adds, “At first it was hard for me to be accepted as a female football player. In my community, we are not allowed to play with the ball. But I hope over time things would start to change.”
Maikan belongs to a humble and educated family. Her father Abdul Wahid Baloch is an activist and writer. Her elder sister, Hani Baloch, is women’s rights activist and writer. Her second sister teaches street children and runs an organisation to uplift underprivileged children through sports and education.
Recently her team played Dr Atiya Zafar Memorial Exhibition match and stood first. It was a remarkable day where the participating teams celebrated the women’s day in a unique way.
Asking about parent’s support she replied, “Parent’s support is crucial. I am blessed to have my parents’ support with me. But most of the girls still face challenges to get the approval of parents to be trained as footballers.”
Despite this, Lyari girls have maintained their determination to play football against all odds. The pivotal role of concerned institutions is essential to keep them determined.