Dangal effect? Varanasi akhada welcomes women to fight wrestling for the first time
Lucknow, Oct 9: An akhada, the Hindi word for an academy where students of wrestling and martial arts get training, has always been a male bastion in India since centuries.
However, thanks to the advent of modernity and impact of Aamir Khan-starrer hit Bollywood film, Dangal, an akhada in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, has recently opened its doors for women wrestlers to hone their skills.
At the Swaminath akhada at Tulsi Ghat in Varanasi, women and men can be seen fighting together and on many occasions it's the female wrestlers who are outsmarting their male counterparts in the academy.
"#UttarPradesh: Women join #Varanasi's #SwaminathAkhada at Tulsi Ghat after it opened its doors for them," tweeted ANI.
The film Dangal highlights the struggle of a wrestler father to train his daughters into international champions. The film is a biopic on wrestling champions Geeta and Babita Phogat and their coach-father Mahavir Singh Phogat.
The film was a super hit in India and made crores in China too since it was released late last year. The film is being seen as a major boost to women sportspersons and is hailed as a cinematic masterpiece on feminism.
According to reports, since the time Dangal was released many girls and women in Uttar Pradesh have taken up wrestling as a favoured choice of sport.
Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has several centuries-old akhadas producing world champions since ages.