“ ये मैदान देख रहे हो आप, इस मैदान पे हमे गर्व हैं इसने कई राष्ट्रीय और अंतर्राष्ट्रीय पहलवान पैदा किये हैं.”
(This ground that you can see is the pride of our village, it has produced several national and inter-national wrestlers). This was the way they described the sports field to me. The villagers were really proud of that sport field and that was evident from their faces. This place actually had something unique which even I noticed, people from age groups ranging from age 4 to 50. There were around 70 to 80 trainees who used to practice twice a day, early morning and in the evening for 2 to 3 hours per session. All this was done under the supervision of the coach who is an ex-army person and had represented India couple of times in Kabbaddi in Asian games. The coach took an initiative in the year 2015 to build an indoor wrestling ground so as to have place with proper infrastructure inorder to overcome the constraints of the climate. This helped them practice even in the rainy season and in extreme weather conditions.
The village also has a youtube channel named as Kabbadi Haryana and the village hosts a kabaddi tournament every year in which wrestlers from every part of India come to participate in the tournament.
This initiative was supported by villagers and they were able to raise funds worth 50 lakhs within the village and without any government funding or any other external funding. The sports ground is built on the pond’s land as this land is well connected with roads and situated in the heart of the village but if the government would have built the stadium, it would have taken the panchayat land which is quite far and doesn’t have great accessibility. This is done with the help of the community and we were able to raise 50 lacs internally within the village without any government funding or any other external funding said the coach to me.
But in the year 2016, when the stadium was under construction, due to natural calamity the wall fell down and it led to the extra expenditure of 5 lacs. Still, there is a long way for the stadium to reach basic standard as it still doesn’t have basic things like a mat and other stuff. They are looking for government funds as it is impossible to raise the money they require from their own village.
Around 100 people of different ages gather every day for this sport. They pride themselves in aiding the recruitment of 150 people in the army, paramilitary forces and police. The status of this land is that it is gram panchayat land. This land is in access to the pond. Land, although is a pond land therefore with consensus amongst the villagers, the land type has been changed.
“We lack fund. I can only take care of the things they do here and I don’t charge a single penny from them for training them. But what about things which are to be done at home, particularly the diet. I can only suggest them a particular diet but I cannot see or force them to take that diet because not everyone is financially strong enough to take proper diet. At the same time, diet is a very important component and it has to be a protein and nutrients rich diet. These wrestlers are not given proper diet and also do not have proper sports kit and accessories” informed me a coach.
“विवेक जी आपसे बस एक मदद चाहते हैं की आप कैसे भी इस गाँव को रेसलिंग स्टेडियम के लिए सरकार से कोई मदद दिला दीजिये. इन बच्चों में बहुत हुनुर हैं ये हुनुर पैसे के आभाव में व्यर्थ जा रहा हैं” (Vivek please help us to get government funding for the indoor stadium, as these children are really very talented and all these talent is going in vain in the absence of funds). This is how the meeting between me and the coach was concluded.