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87-yr-old man shapes sports revolution in Bastar, Chhattisgarh

As the light dims quickly on a December evening, a National Highway whose number is hotly contested begins to go quiet. It’s barely 6 in the evening, but in Bastar, darkness brings silence. From behind a wall along the NH though, just outside Dimrapal village, there is sound of loud chatter and laughter. Eight girls are lined up on an open field, 10 metres apart, with two of them watching from the sidelines. Neelawati crouches, her body tense. The voice of a wizened old man pierces the air. “Go”, he says — and Neelawati flies. The screams around her are raucous, the girls egging her on.

Dec 24, 2015, 22:38 PM IST