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Varanasi: Chief priest opens akhada doors for female wrestlers

Sankatmochan Temple chief priest Vishwambhar Nath Mishra has done a ‘Bapu’ of blockbuster ‘Dangal’ by opening doors of traditional akhada Goswami Tulsidas for women wrestlers.

lucknow Updated: Nov 28, 2017 17:13 IST
Sudhir Kumar
Sudhir Kumar
Hindustan Times, Varanasi
Chief priest,Kashi,Sankatmochan Temple
This is first time that women wrestlers will participate in the event.(HT Photo)

Sankatmochan Temple chief priest Vishwambhar Nath Mishra has done a ‘Bapu’ of blockbuster ‘Dangal’ by opening doors of traditional akhada Goswami Tulsidas for women wrestlers, who are all set to show their might in a three-day long wrestling event beginning in memory of Sankatmochan Temple’s ex chief priest late Amarnath Mishra on Tuesday morning.

This is first time that women wrestlers will participate in the event in last 25 years following instructions by Mishra, who decided to encourage local women wrestlers so that they could win medals for the nation in international events.

Mishra said, “Women wrestlers can’t be kept away from the traditional arenas anymore as they have earned laurels for the nation by performing well in international wrestling competitions. They won medals and made India proud. This is responsibility of all of us to encourage them.”

Mishra said that a total of 24 women wrestlers (12 pairs) will participate in the three-day long competition. On the opening day, four pairs— eight women wrestlers— will show their skills on open wrestling court to come up at a platform on Assi Ghat.

Wrestlers in the category of 48 kg and 75 kg have registered for the competition. Registration for the wrestling event has already been completed.

Besides, male wrestlers in the category of 57-74 kg and 74-125 kg will show their might for title of Banaras Kumar and Banaras Keshari respectively. Winner of Banaras Kumar title will get a bicycle and a silver mace, while Banaras Keshari will be given a motorcycle. A total of 45 pairs of male wrestlers will take part in the wrestling competition.

Vijaynath Mishra, noted neurologist, said, “Time has changed. Many local girls are doing extremely well in wrestling competition. So we decided to encourage the women wrestlers by providing them a platform to show their skill. It is heartening to see a large number of local women wrestlers enthusiastically registering them for the event.”

Kallu Pahalwan of the akhada said the stage is all set for the event on Tuesday morning. It will conclude on November 30.

Astha Verma and Nandini are among the wrestlers who registered themselves for the event. “It is a great decision. Now women aspirant will get a chance to participate in the events of traditional arenas of Kashi. Such events would help improve their performance,” Verma said.

First Published: Nov 28, 2017 16:03 IST