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Wrestling for livelihood: How Chandgi Ram Akhara is helping women to learn, earn and grapple

Wrestling is at the verge of its obliteration as it lacks support, both socially and economically. Especially for women, to excel in this sport is a herculean task. There are a very few places in this country where women wrestlers are encouraged.

In the hustle bustle of New Delhi, there is one such place which has preserved the game for women wrestlers since 1975. Chandgi Ram Akhara, set up by Guru Chandgi Ram, has opened the door for the women wrestlers in the country to be a part of this sport.

The akhara has served as a platform for many Indian women wrestlers like Neha Rathi (bronze medal winner at Asian games 2012) and Sonika Kaliraman (2003 silver medalist in junior Asian games). When the akhara was opened it was the first to train women wrestlers in the country. Chandgi Ram akhara is not only giving employment to women but is also helping them socially and financially by sending them to participate in different tournaments.

“This is our only source of survival. Because of poor family conditions, I started wrestling after my marriage with an aim to help my family. I believe that women in India are more powerful than foreigners and women wrestlers have bright future in India,” said Reshma.

However, Government apathy has left the akhara in shambles. The akhara gets menial amount of Rs 2000 from the government and an annual endowment from MCD for training.

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