City’s ‘Phogat’ sisters can’t wait to step into ring again

Daughters of tempo driver, they are jostling for space to practise wrestling

Aakanksha N Bhardwaj

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 11

Two young, upcoming wrestlers and daughters of a tempo driver, Anjali (13) and Kajal (20) are missing out on their wrestling practices because of the Covid. The girls, who wish to become successful players in their lives, say with all akharas lying closed, they have been eagerly waiting for everything to get back to normal. Belonging to a humble background, the girls are high in spirits and are confident of making it big in their lives. Perhaps, they get it from their father who is also a pehalwan!

Their father Bittu Pehalwan (who himself used to wrestle in childhood), wishes to fulfill his dream of wrestling though his daughters.

Both his daughters have played tournaments and have won medals. Ask if they practice at their homes, the father says that there is no space in the house where the girls can practice freely.

Bittu Pehelwan shares his life journey. “I am illiterate. I had a horse cart initially, then I started riding the auto-rickshaw. Now, I ride tempo and transport goods. I also used to wrestle in akharas, hence I was named ‘Pehelwan’. It still gives me a sense of strength,” tells Bittu.

Pehalwan says that there is less work these days because of the ongoing situation. No goods are getting transported outside, so he mostly remains at home. “Mushkil hi hai ajjkal, kamm nai hai kuch (It’’s difficult these days because of no work at all).”

His 10-year-old-son is suffering from a rare disease called haemophilia. These days, Bittu’s focus is on providing his children with a balanced diet so that their health doesn’t suffer. As he wants his children to attain great heights, he is trying to work hard to help them get a good diet, even when there are several problems. 

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