A nine-year-old boy Kunal Shrestha loves to play football

Imphal: Amid numerous challenges and against all odds, 11-year-old boy, Kunal Shrestha from Manipur, has earned admiration and respect from people across sectors.

Born with a single limb to Sanjeev Shrestha and Prem Kumari Shrestha of Kanglatongbi in Imphal West district, Kunal strives to become a professional football player in future.

An ardent fan of the Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, Kunal displayed his skills of the game during a local football tournament held on Friday at Kalapahar ground in Kangpokpi district.

During the match, despite having only one leg, Kunal played the match enthusiastically like any other kids on the field and proved his passion for the game.

Speaking with EastMojo on the sideline of the tournament, Kunal with his ever-approachable nature spoke length about his love for football and how the pandemic has given him the golden time to play his favourite game along with his friends.

“I want to become a professional football player and play for the Indian Super League (ISL) in future,” said the young boy who belongs to the Gorkha community in the state.

Kunal along with his younger brother

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Kunal and his mother Prem Kumari Shrestha

Kunal’s mother has been the main force behind motivating him and gained the confidence to play football. Before the pandemic, he even rode his own bicycle while going to school, as informed by his mother.

“It has been an emotional rollercoaster ride as my eldest son Kunal was born with only one limb. And we all are worried for his future; however, I make sure that he will never feel his disability challenging and different from other kids,” said an emotional Prem Kumari, a mother of two sons.

Knowing her son’s love for football, Prem Kumari also informed that the family will give him utmost support and respect his choice of career even in future as well.

She also revealed that her son’s classmates and friends often asked him about having only one leg. At times, it made him feel different from others.

We want him to fix with prosthesis limb in future, she added.

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