Dangal effect: Mahavir Singh Phogat gets wrestling mat after struggling for three decades

Mahavir, on whose life and struggle Bollywood blockbuster Dangal is based, was deprived of this mandatory thing for almost 30 years.

Written by: Sujata Sarkar
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New Delhi, Jan 3: After a span of almost 30 years of running his Akhara (academy) at Balali village, Mahavir Singh Phogat, the Dronacharya awardee wrestling coach has finally got one of his dues.

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Mahavir has been provided with two modern wrestling mats which match Olympics standards.

Dangal effect: Mahavir Singh Phogat gets wrestling mat first time in three decades

Mahavir, on whose life and struggle Bollywood blockbuster Dangal is based, was deprived of this mandatory thing for almost 30 years. This fact was highlighted in the biopic on Mahavir. 

Speaking over phone from Balali he lamented, “I have been asking repeatedly for one international standard wrestling mat for around last 30 years. I made several written appeals to the state sports ministry. But every time they said they were trying to arrange funds.”

The two international mats have finally been laid at Balali on Monday (Jan 2). The representative of Haryana Chief Minister himself had come to Mahavir’s Akhara along with the mats and also promised Mahavir to develop the infrastructure of Akhara in the near future.

Mahavir admitted that this has been the effect of Dangal, the movie which has struck the box office with great response from the viewers.

The legendary wrestling coach said, “I guess this has been the effect of Dangal. Otherwise, despite having made repeated requests to the state sports ministry in last three decades I did not get a single modern wrestling mat for my Akhara."

That was the reason Mahavir’s Akhara was made of mud, mixed with ghee and a huge amount of milk.

When Mahavir began teaching his daughters the technique of modern wrestling, which is played throughout the world, he accumulated big bedspreads so that his daughters do not receive any injury during the training.

Geeta Phogat, who is now preparing for the Pro-Wrestling League, starting on Tuesday in New Delhi, was also happy to have the first ever modern wrestling mat in their Akhara.

She said over phone from Balali on Monday, “It will help my father produce more quality wrestlers in near future.”

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