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Khelo India Youth Games

Farmer's daughter Samrudhi pioneers wrestling movement in Sangli

Despite facing lack of facilities, Samrudhi is leading wrestling movement in Sangli, Maharashtra and her Khelo India medal is proof of it.

Farmers daughter Samrudhi pioneers wrestling movement in Sangli
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Samrudhi in action at Khelo India Youth Games 2022.

By

Press Release

Updated: 9 Feb 2023 3:09 PM GMT

Samrudhi, a promising wrestler from Sangli in Maharashtra might not have the best of facilities back home as her father Sandip Tanaji is a small-time farmer, who barely makes both ends meet but her determination is so strong that it helps her overcome her adversities to a great extent.

On Wednesday at the Khelo India Youth Games 2022 women's wrestling competition in Bhopal, this Maharashtra wrestler gave a brilliant display of herself to earn a silver medal in the 46kg category. Initially, Samrudhi was on course to upset her more fancied rival Muskan from Haryana but eventually settled for silver.

Maharashtra's petite wrestler raced to a 2-0 lead in the initial stages of the thrilling contest. Muskan, however, came back in the contest and leveled 4-all on counterattacks. As the match progressed Muskan tightened her grip on the title and walked away with gold.

Samrudhi was disappointed at losing her grip over the gold medal match. "I made some silly mistakes. It cost me a gold medal," Samrudhi said in the post-match interaction. "But everyone on the team is happy that I won silver. It was my best performance in the Khelo India Youth Games."

In the previous edition of the Khelo India Youth Games held in Haryana, due to a shoulder niggle, this Sangli wrestler lost the bronze medal match.

The majority of the youngsters competing here at Madhya Pradesh Khelo India Youth Games have been either inspired by a senior player or a family member. In Samrudhi's case, she followed her younger brother's footsteps.

Samrudhi's father Sandip Tanaji, who has accompanied her daughter to Bhopal said, it has been three years since she (Samrudhi) took up wrestling and has won two bronze medals in the age group category in her weight category at the national level. "We are happy with what she is doing," the father said.

According to her father, a small-time farmer from Sangli, her teenage daughter was scouted by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) scheme in Mumbai but was reluctant to join the SAI project and preferred to stay home despite not-so-good facilities. "She (Samrudhi) is a pioneer in women's wrestling in the area and several young girls look forward to her as a role model," the father said. "If she goes out of Sangli, other girls might not come for practice."

After Samrudhi started traveling outside Sangli for wrestling competitions other teenage girls in the area also aspired to follow in her footsteps. "After seeing Samrudhi practice wrestling at least 30 young girls have joined the wrestling activity in Sangli," Samrudhi's father said.

A group of like-minded sports enthusiasts, including Samrudhi's father, joined hands a couple of years ago to set up wrestling akhara in Sangli. "We have a small mat and the support of friends and family to run the wrestling activities in Sangli," Sandip Tanaji added.

The Sangli wrestler is also good in academics. She stood first in her school in the 10th and 12th board examinations. Since she was good at studies, Samrudhi's parents wanted their daughter to become a doctor.

But the family had their limitations as they just had two acres of agricultural land and no financial resources to send their daughter for medical course. "When she started sports (wrestling) we never thought she would win a medal at the Khelo India Youth Games," the father added. "Traveling across the country for wrestling competitions and practicing back home is more expensive than a medical course."

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