Oinam Bembem Devi is an Indian footballer nicknamed ‘the Durga of Indian Football’. Let’s wish her a very happy birthday.
Oinam Bembem Devi was born on 4 April 1980 in Imphal, Manipur. Devi began her career as a footballer in 1988 when she began training at the United Pioneers Club in Imphal. In 1991, she was selected to represent the Manipur U-13 team in the sub-junior football tournament. Since 1993, Oinam is a regular member of the Manipur state football team for women. She has been appointed the captain of her state team since the 32nd National Games, where she led her state to victory.
At the age of 15, Oinam Bembem Devi made her international debut against Guam in the Asian Women’s Championships. The turning point in her career came at the 1996 Asian Games, where the Indian national team were drawn into a group alongside Japan and Nepal. She was given the armband of the Indian contingent in the AFC qualifying competition, held in Thailand in 2003. She was the captain of the Indian team that emerged winners at the 11th South Asian Games held in Bangladesh, in 2010 and the 2012 SAFF Women’s Championship in the year 2012.
She was appointed as manager of Eastern Sporting Union in the 2017 Indian Women’s League final rounds. She also became the first manager in Indian Women’s League history to claim the tournament title as a player. In 2018, she was assigned as the assistant coach for the India U17 women’s team.
In 2017, she was honoured with the Arjuna Award by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. In 2020 she was honoured with India’s highly prestigious award Padma Shri.