With no outside coaching and competitions allowed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, India’s 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup captain Amarjit Singh Kiyam helps his folks in paddy cultivation in his local village in Manipur. The 19-year-old midfielder, who has already graduated to the senior nationwide crew, joined his father in the transplantation of the paddy seedlings in the fields made muddy by means of Monsoon rains. The piece of land belongs to his circle of relatives.
“I was helping my family in the paddy field – to do the farming. There’s no shame in going back to your roots and help your family on the paddy fields,” Amarjit stated. “My family has been farming for generations. But I myself have not paid much attention to farming since I was a kid. I was always too much into football,” he added.
For the teen who most commonly remained outdoor the state to play fits, it used to be a chance to reconnect to the roots.
“Normally, I don’t get to be home for a long time. Even when the season is over, we have been going on some exposure tour or the other with the junior national teams. So when I do eventually get to come home for a few weeks, it’s generally not the season for cultivation.
“Now I have got the time to actually go out there and reconnect with my roots. I feel proud. I’ve learnt the different aspects of farming, and I can tell you it’s quite a draining activity,” he used to be quoted as announcing in an AIFF liberate.
He stated popping out of house and doing a little task in the open used to be “quite refreshing”.
“It’s always nice to have some sort of activity as a hobby — something that helps keep your mind off football for a couple of hours every day. I think farming has done that for me. I’m really enjoying this activity,” he stated.