Ghanshyam Patel is a proud man today. His daughter Pooja is the World Miss Yogini. She has also won other international awards too. And the small farmer from Ambala village near Kadi was the one who introduced the 18-year-old to yoga nine years ago.

Pooja’s Yogasana Caught Eyeballs

On the International Day of Yoga, Pooja mesmerized everyone in the audience with her powerful poses in Mehsana, Gujarat

Patel, who himself wanted to be an yoga expert, became a teacher for his daughter.

She was specially invited at the Mehsana programme to perform yoga to the songs of ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram’.

Pooja is well-known in her locality when comes to performing tough asanas, “The biggest moment in my life was winning World Miss Yogini title in China in 2015. After that I won the competition successively for two years,” Pooja told TOI.

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Financial Crunch

Even though the family lives in a rented accommodation paying Rs 3,500 a month, Patel ensures that Pooja and her brother get good education and scope to enhance her yoga expertise.

Talking about her trip to Shanghai in 2015, Patel said: “We did not get any help from the government as officials told us that yoga was not a sport. Sanskar Vidyalay in Kadi where Pooja studied collected Rs 70,000 through donations and helped us.”

The 50-year-old Patel owns around 14 bigha land in Ambala.

“I was extremely nervous before going to China for the first time. But my father constantly lifted my spirits and all credit for my success goes to him,” said Pooja, who won her first gold medal at a district-level competition when she was in class V

Funding

In 2016, the Umiya Mata Trust in Unjha funded her Rs-50,000 ticket and the government donated Rs 40,000. “But in 2017, I had to borrow Rs 50,000 in parts from our relatives to fund the travel,” said Patel.

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Pooja is a student of BSc in Ahmedabad. She daily practises nearly 250 asanas that she has mastered. The teenager wants to get a doctorate in yoga. She believes yoga must be made compulsory in schools.

Way to go, girl!

Feature Image Credit: TOI

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