Phogat Pahalwans: The Tale of Indian Wrestling Sisters
In India when we talk of wrestlers who have represented the country at the highest level of competition, the names of Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt and Banjarang Punia come to the forefront. These wrestlers have done the country proud by winning medals at Asian, Commonwealth and Olympic games. Sushil Kumar won a sliver a bronze in London Olympics (2012) and Bejing (2008) respectively. Yogeshwar Dutt made the country proud by winning gold at the commonwealth games 2014 and Asian games 2014. He also won a Bronze medal in London Olympics in 2012. The recent addition to the medal tally is Bajrang Punia who won the silver the Asian games 2014. There are other 5-6 young Indian male wrestlers who are coming to the World stage and showing their class.
Women are not far behind in wrestling competition. Three girls of one Haryana Family are making the country equally proud. We now talk of the three Golden girls of Indian wrestling, namely Phogat Pahalwan Sibblings. There are 3 sisters namely Vinesha, Babita and Geeta.
Vinesha Phogat won the gold medal at the Commonwealth games 2014 and a bronze at the Asian games 2014, Babita won the gold at the Commonwealth games 2014. Geeta Phogat had won India’s first ever gold medal in women’s wrestling in the 55kg category in Commonwealth games 2010 held in Delhi. The proud Phogat sisters were once looked down upon in the neighborhood when their father coach took up the task of training them for competitive wrestling. Now with all three of them winning medals at the international level the mindset of the people has changed. They are respected highly in their village and are an inspiration for the other girls to take interest in the game. All the efforts and dedication that these sisters have put, shows that the grit and hunger to succeed at the highest level of any competition, no matter even if is male dominated game will succeed.
In our country where girls are not allowed to come out of their homes especially in rural areas of Haryana these 3 girls have shown that with hard work and will to succeed at the highest level, then no one can stop you as the sky is the limit. We can hope that one day all 3 sisters have the ability will to bring home an Olympic medal.
Now comes the State efforts. If a father Mr. Phogat, a wrestlers himself can build capacity among three daughters, I am sure the Stat and national wrestling associations must take lesson and do something more. To bring more girls in Wrestling the State and National government must arrange for infrastructure, facilitation, and competition at grass root level and train them with expert coaches. In India the people love starting to respect when an athlete wins a medal for the country.
The Commonwealth and Asian games medals are just the staring of more medals to come and I am sure the efforts of their father will not go waste and in the future they will bring more laurels to the country. It is not gender sensitive for us not to recognize the sacrifice of the mother of these girls for what they are today and laurels they have brought to the country.
Image Courtesy: India.com
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