Guess which state is heavyweight when it comes to wrestlers? Haryana, of course. As many as 16 women wrestlers from Haryana have made it to the 20-member Indian contingent, prepping to participate in the upcoming Commonwealth Wrestling Championship. The women have pulled up their socks to fly out soon for the tournament, to be held in Brakpan, South Africa, from December 14 to 17.

So is Haryana changing in terms of women’s empowerment? The answer is YES! Women grapplers from Haryana are now dominating the wrestling world. While the state has showed great improvement in sending out its girls for bigger tournaments, the ratio of states show that the Haryana women make up 80% of the Indian contingent.

The whole country has been praising Haryana’s daughters after the Phogat family put India’s name in the record books. The superhit family biopic Film “Dangal” made the Phogat girls household names. And, now of the 16 Haryana girls in the Indian team, four are from the legendary wrestling family of Mahavir Singh Phogat.

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Yess, Ritu Phogat, Geeta Phogat, Vinesh Phogat and Sangeeta Phogat are making the team stronger than ever this year. Sakshi Malik, also from Haryana, is also a name to reckon with. Alongside them, Nirmal, Seema, Manisha, Pooja, Ravita, Ritu Malik, Monia, Kiran Godhara, Pinky (senior) and Pinky (junior) will test their mettle too.

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“State policy in rural areas has worked. Haryana has always been the torchbearer for Indian wrestling, but this time the number of girls who have qualified from the state is totally unparalleled,” said Raj Kumar Hooda, vice-president of WFI, TOI reported

“Most of them are from Balali village, who have learnt the nitty-gritties of the sport from legendary coach Mahavir Phogat. The others are from other small academies from different districts of Haryana,” added Hooda.

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He also claimed that the state is introducing different policies for wrestling academies and training facilities. “In Haryana, there are wrestling academies and training facilities in the remotest areas. The sport has managed to penetrate in distant areas of the state where technical training is being provided by well-acclaimed coaches. Also, success at the international level by the likes of Sakshi, Geeta, Babita and Vinesh has meant that parents are not averse to send their girls to those academies,” Hooda explained.

Feature Image Credit: The Tribune

Also Read: Haryana’s Sportswomen fight marriage norms to prep for Olympics

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Also Read: Dangal depicts the story of a wrestler himself who mentored her both daughters Geeta Babita to win the championships

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