Not the Phogats, know about the Solanki sisters in Indian wrestling
The Solanki sisters have gone under the radar in their bid to reach the top, despite having immense talent and accolades in wreslting
The Phogat sisters have been the face of women's wrestling in India for a long time now. They have achieved several feats for the country and will continue to do so in the coming years. There is, however, another family by the name of Solanki that has a similar trajectory and path.
Neelam, Seema, and Poonam hail from Agra and are wrestlers who have continued a family tradition kept alive by their father. Their story is heartbreaking and somewhat similar to what the Phogat sisters went through. It first surfaced back in 2016 when it was realized that all the three sisters were national and state-level champions but, were struggling with their lives. All of them had won medals at various university, district, and state-level championships and were also vying to win at the national championships. The Solanki sisters faced stiff resistance from villagers who never understood that women too could be on the same level as men in terms of competing in dangal competitions. Moreover, they had to travel around 15 km a day to train given the lack of facilities in their village. Their daily routine involved waking up at 3 am every day to get time to train and running a cosmetics shop in the village to supplement their income.
Their father, Visambher Solanki is a second-generation wrestler who has aimed to impart the same qualities to his daughters. He even sold a tract of land to fund the training and requirements of his daughters. His sacrifice was immense and one can imagine the
The determination of the Solanki sisters knows no boundaries and one can only hope that three of them are given the right funding and opportunity to make it big in wrestling. They also represent numerous such youngsters who are denied opportunities despite having immense talent. Like the Phogat sisters who rose to the top, the Solanki sisters deserve to be recognized for their dedication not just to wrestling, but for preserving their family tradition through sheer determination.