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From Haryana to New York: How volleyball helped Kanta Singh achieve her dream to work for the United Nations

Singh used to play volleyball tournaments across the country.

, ET Bureau|
Feb 21, 2019, 08.52 AM IST
Kanta Singh
A volleyball helps plane crash survivor Tom Hanks beat loneliness in the film 'Cast Away'. In the real world, a volleyball enabled Kanta Singh fly to New York, and achieve her dream of working in the United Nations. “I grew up in a village in Sonepat district, Haryana,” Singh, the United Nations Development Programme state project head, Haryana and NCR, told ETPanache in Mumbai recently. “I was good in studies, and then I started playing volleyball. That took me places. I played tournaments around the country. Volleyball helped me get admission to Haryana Agricultural University, which otherwise was beyond our means.”

As a child, Singh heard about the UN and New York from her older brother. At the time, she thought New York was a building beyond the village canal and forest.

“When I grew up I realised New York was an entire city,” Singh said. “I first went there in the early 2000s. When I stood in the UN building, I wept, because my mother was still working in the farms, and I realised how much she had done for me to be able to achieve my dream. I decided then that I would work towards helping other women reach their goal.”

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