Wrestling in Jammu

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Wrestling in Jammu

Sanjeev Sharma Wrestling For Exsitence In Jammu "Daily Excelsior" 3/4/2016

Players wrestles in akharas

The flameboyance of the game of wrestling has been a subject of negligence for a longer period of time. Wrestling having its mention in the great epics like Ramayana, Mahabharata and many more, is a single sport liked by the majority of people especially living across the rural periphery.

Interesting to note that rural people organise more than three hundred mega wrestling events per annum particularly in the form of traditional dangals with a motive of cultural and religious ethos of wellness and prosperity across the society but inspite of all major efforts by the organisers especially in managing finance through collections and contributions, the objective of organising such events is not being realised practically unless locals participating wrestlers may get their due recognition. Reality lies here that maximum of the cash awards are being taken away by the outside wrestlers leaving local wrestlers in despair. The big wrestling events like International wrestling events are good for entertainment purpose but experts must work in making wrestling multidimensional so that all desired aims and objectives like participation of local wrestlers, fixation of their cash prize and career prospects shoud be taken into consideration. Gone are the days when Jammu was regarded as the land of wrestlers and the name of J&K wrestlers like Ishar Dass, Noora, Sain Dass, Bodh Raj, Dushyant, Billa would send a shiver to the spine of named wrestlers of the adjoining areas of the country, now wrestling in our state is in declining phase as new budding wrestlers are not being trained to such level so that they may bring laurels for the State. Meritorious wrestlers of the State have carved their way to national and international levels under the support of some wrestling illuminaries like Ustaad Chand, Ustaad Chaman Joginder, Bedi and who were much instrumental and passionate towards their goal in shaping good wrestlers. However the contributions of Raj Kumar Maini, Bansi Lal Tidyal, Mulakh Raj Sharma NIS Wrestling Coach, Om Parkash NIS Wrestling Coach, Jai Bharat NIS Wrestling Coach and especially Shiv Kumar Sharma, now Joint Secretary of J&K State Sports Council in proivding platform to local wrestlers and making wrestling one of the popular game of the state can’t be ignored at the same time and deserves due recognition.

There were many akharas in Jammu viz Shiv Mandir Akhara, Bajrangi Akhara, Diwan Mandir Akhara, Shiv Puri Akhara, Peer Khoo Akhara in which prominent wrestlers used to practice under the strict vigil of their Ustaad, Khallifaas and get a chance to show their performance with their counterparts in wrestling competitions organized after a fixed interval of time in Jammu city which causes arousal of interest and passion among organisers and participants. The contribution made by Ustaad like Chaman Pahalwan in Akhara Bajrangi Shalamar Jammu in preparing named wrestlers like Noors, Qassim, Sain Dass Rustam-e-Jammu Kashmir, Bansi Lal, Krishan Lal of Muthi, Bedi Sardar and then Dushyant (International wrestler), Romesh Chander “Meshi’’, Dheeraj by Ustaad Joginder Pahalwan was a great achievement of that era without any support from the sports agencies.

Similarly Ustaad Chand Lal of Diwana Mandir Akhara Jammu guided and prepared wrestlers of par excellence like Parkash, Uttam, Bashi, Kanahiyaa, Shivoo,Kartaar Singh and Choudhary Prem. It was Choudhary Prem who has qualified first ever diploma in Wrestling from Netaji Subash Sports Institute Patialla and introduced training to the wrestlers at Akhara Diwan Mandir Jammu as per the guidelines laid down by Sports Authority of India and as a result wrestler Bodh Raj his disciple clinched first ever silver medal from All India School Boys wrestling championship in 1976 and gold medal from junior national wrestling held at Pune. Consequently, Wrestlers like Billa, Allah Mai, Bulkaar, Rakesh Khajuria, Kulbeer, Sheesha, Makhan, Jameet and Raju worked hard under his able guidance and proved their mettle at different national levels of competitions held across the country and brought laurels for the State. Now its right time for some volunteers to come forward for sponsoring the game as a result divine sport of wrestling will flourish to greater heights. There is also a dire need of rejuvinating the deserted akharas in the heart of city in close coordination with the sports agencies with the provision of generating employment to sports qualified persons.

“There is no dearth of wrestling talent in both the men and women sections in our State especially in Jammu region provided basic infrastructure and career opportunities to them which is a bigger drawback responsible for not enabling our wrestlers to perform better in nationals. In the present scenario, onus lies on the Government unless and untill the patronage is not there and wrestlers are not given due recognition, the art of this Indian wrestling may come to verge of extinction’’, asserted Choudhary Prem Nath (NIS Wrestling Coach) and Chairman J&K Indian Style Wrestling Association.

Ustaad Sain Dass Rustam-e-Jammu Kashmir (1965) said, “Youth belonging to the hilly areas especially of Reasi, Rajouri and Poonch Districts possess much strength and valour to clinch medals from national and international events provided basic infrastructure to them. Authorities must organise practice camps/awareness rallies in such areas so as to boost the budding wrestling talent.

Special attention should be given in selecting and preparing camps/awareness rallies in such areas so as to boost the budding wrestling talent. Special attention should be given in selecting and preparing the students right at the school level. All sports authorities including Wrestling Association and Department of Youth Services and Sports should work in close harmony for the betterment and development of wrestling.’’

Shiv Kumar Sharma, Joint Secretary State Sports Council assured everyone that art of wrestling would be uplifted by all means and the varied facilities would definitely be provided to the budding talent as well as the established ones. In this regard, soon a multipurpose hall at Bana Singh Stadium R S Pura is already on cards and Secretary State Council along with a team of experts recently had a visit to the Stadium at R S Pura and took keen interest in knowing the pros and cons of the wrestling infrastructure and soon ground would be prepared in other areas too so that art of wrestling be rejuvenated, preserved and transmitted to the future generations.

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