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Domestic help turned karate instructor

Sarupa Sangam, an 18-year-old domestic help turns karate instructor after bagging R 1 lakh at martial arts contest. She is currently training with the event’s organiser, Mehul Vora, at his martial arts training institute in Vile Parle. Interestingly, she used to work in Vora’s house before entering the competition.

entertainment Updated: Nov 10, 2011 17:41 IST
Rachana Dubey
Rachana Dubey
Hindustan Times
Sarupa Sangam,Karate championship,Akshay Kumar

Domestic help, Sarupa Sangam, who won first place in the under-18 women’s Kata category and R 1 lakh in cash at the Akshay Kumar Karate Championship last month, is in the process of becoming a martial arts instructor. She is currently training with the event’s organiser, Mehul Vora, at his martial arts training institute in Vile Parle. Interestingly, she used to work in Vora’s house before entering the competition.

“Three years ago, I used to work at someone’s house in Bhayander. My family’s financial condition was pretty bad. My father was in dire need of money and he was the only earning member then. So, I had to drop out of school and do housework to add to my household’s income,” recalls Sarupa, adding, “My first employer had a kid.

I was assigned to take him to his karate classes and get him back from there everyday. I started developing an interest in karate too. I used to look at the kids from the window. One day, I approached the instructor, Sandeep. After I told him that I couldn’t afford the classes, he decided to teach me for free.”

Two years later, Sarupa’s family moved homes to Santa Cruz. Sandeep got her employed at Mehul Vora’s house and told him about her interest in pursuing karate. “Mehul sir also allowed me to train at his institute for free. I still have two more years to go before I can become an official instructor. He taught me so well that I actually won R 1 lakh,” says Sarupa, who is completing her education with the help of Mehul’s wife. She adds, “It’s helped improve our financial condition by a mile. My parents had thought of getting me married because they thought that it might help if they had one less person to look after. Now, they too support my decision to become an instructor.”

Akshay Kumar, who spent his own money to fund the contest that changed Sarupa’s life, says, “The purpose of having an event of this kind is served. Sarupa is an example for so many girls who work as domestic help and think their life has no meaning. If they work hard the way this girl has, I’m sure even they can make a difference to the world.”

First Published: Nov 10, 2011 14:02 IST