Girls win medals for akhada founded by Tulsidas 

Six girls have already won medals in various state-level competitions in Uttar Pradesh in various weight categories. DH photo

The akhada founded by saint-poet Tulsidas on the banks of the Ganga along the ghats of Varanasi had opened doors for girls - around a year ago. And,  they are making the gurus of the Swaminath Akhada proud. 

It was Goswami Tulsidas who had authored the epic Ramcharitmanas, one of the greatest of devotional literature. Six girls have already won medals in various state-level competitions in Uttar Pradesh in various weight categories. "Our girls are doing very well," says Mewa Pehlwan, the chief of the akhada, where nearly 70 to 80 people of various age groups trains regularly. 

It seems that the Phogat sisters-inspired Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal has made an impact and that is one of the reasons that the girls have been drawn into the akhada, which was founded 480 years ago.

"I want to be a professional wrestler," says Riya Pal,  the youngest of the girls,  who are getting trained under Mewa Pehlwan, Paras Pehlwan and Siaramji. "I love wrestling and I follow it keenly, " says Kashish Yadav. Like Riya and Kashish, Palak Yadav, Pari Yadav, Anjali Jaiswal and Aapeksha Singh are getting trained at the akhada managed by the Sankat Mochan Temple.

"Training for boys and girls remain the same, " says Mewa Pehlwan, who is now 70 and commands tremendous respect. Before the training sessions, the girls seek the blessings of Hanuman and fight it out in the pit. "The routine is the same ...we also prescribe diet and quantity like how much doodh (milk) has to be taken, how much badam (almond) has to be taken, diet schedule, rest and sleep," says Paras Pahlwan.

In August 2017, the akhada opened its doors to girls and in one-and-a-half year's time, medals and commendations have started coming in. "The girls are getting appreciation," says Siaramji. 

"We want to study and do wrestling," says Anjali, a budding star. 

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Girls win medals for akhada founded by Tulsidas 

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