The 14-YO of Jharkhand has now reached the world championship

The 14-YO of Jharkhand has now reached the world championship

JHarkhand’s coach Bablu Kumar says that in India, the fighters mainly come from Haryana, Delhi, Maharashtra and Punjab. “Even the Indian contingent for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 has a majority of Haryana fighters,” he notes.

But the situation has changed, he adds. By qualifying for the World Cadet Wrestling Championships, 14-year-old Chanchala Kumari from Jharkhand has put the state on the Indian wrestling map. The games will be played in Hungary on July 19-25 later this month.

“The state of Jharkhand was formed in 2000 and since then we have never had a wrestling champion. So now there could not be a prouder moment for the state, ”he says. Best India.

But Chanchala’s journey was never as glorious as it seems now. He is from the village of Hatwal, located about 30 km from the state capital, Ranchi, and his father owns a half-acre piece of land that barely generates enough income to support a family of six. He doubles as a plumber or does odd jobs to cover living expenses.

Chanchala with her family and coach.

The financial situation of the family, which belongs to the Oraon tribal community, is weak.
For many days, they survived only in maad bhaat, which is starchy boiled rice. On good days, they can afford to eat rice with a vegetable.

Luck turned for Chanchala when the Jharkhand State Sports Promotion Society (JSSPS), a state government scheme that identifies sporting talent from rural areas, saw potential in her.

Bablu explains that a memorandum of understanding was signed between JSSPS and Central Coalfields Limited for their use Khel Gaon sports center, a state-of-the-art facility built in 2009 for the national games, as a training ground for budding athletes.

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A rising star

“In 2016, we evaluated many children and did physical training for six months to identify their potential and inclination towards sports. Chanchala was 11 years old when she came with her mother to sign up for the training, ”recalls Bablu.

He says Chanchala showed potential in wrestling and trained over the years. Her efforts garnered results in the form of a silver medal in 2017-18 from the Indian School Games Federation, followed by two gold medals in 2019 and 2020, placing her in the highest rank in the under-15 category.

Later, Chanchala won bronze in a national tournament held in Kota in 2020. In October of the same year, he qualified to train at Lucknow India camp with wrestling stars Sakshi Malik and Geeta Phogat, which concluded in March of 2021.

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In June, he qualified in the wrestling trials in New Delhi to represent India in the World Cadet Wrestling Championships. In addition to Bablu, Chanchala received training from Bholanath Singh and Rajeev Rajan.

From left to Bablu Kumar, Bhola Nath and Chanchala Kumari.

Chanchala says: “I had no knowledge about wrestling. I learned over the years while training. The boys and girls fought each other, which helped us overcome our fear and increase our self-confidence. My goal is to do my best at the next international competition. “

She adds that her family always supported her and that her brother Kishor accompanies her when she needs him. “I hope to win laurels to support my family and make India proud,” he adds.

Kishor says: “We decided to register Chanchala’s name so that she could continue her education along with sports. His achievements are extraordinary and have brought happiness to our lives. We want her to win medals for the country ”, he adds.

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Bablu says that while government support has put the state in the spotlight, players need more financial help. “They need money to focus more on their diet and training. I have been a wrestler for 15 years and I understand the needs of an athlete. The coaches give 100%, but we want to cover all the needs and make sure that nothing prevents the new generation of athletes from achieving their dreams ”, he adds.

“There were four girls who entered wrestling in 2016, but now there are 30 in training. Monetary support can motivate other players and boost results, ”he shares.

As she awaits more support for the upcoming players, Bablu has her eyes set on Chanchala, hoping that she will guide the story by winning in Hungary.

Edited by Divya Sethu

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