Bhopal: Sultan’s trainer teaches art of Dangal to Indore girls

Bhopal: A woman wrestler, who trained the artists in Bollywood blockbusters like “Sultan” and “Dangal”, has taken it on herself to nurture the wrestling skills of nearly 50 girls in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore district.

Neelima Borasi (22) now runs the Shri Ramnath Guru Vyayam Shala and Balika Shastra Kala Kendra in Indore. The Arjun award-winning wrestler and her ‘guru’, Kripa Shankar Patel, had recommended her name to Jagdish Kaliraman, who was the wrestling trainer for the film “Sultan”, Neelima told PTI.

“Patel uncle was imparting training to Amir Khan for ‘Dangal’. He had selected me for training the girls in the movie. He had also recommended me for training and playing practice matches with actor Anushka Sharma in the movie ‘Sultan’,” the young wrestler says.

“Dangal” was a biographical sports drama based on the life of Mahavir Singh Phogat, an amateur wrestler, who trains his daughters Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari to become world class wrestlers. The movie was released in 2016. “Sultan”, which also released last year, was the fictional story of a wrestling champion from Haryana. Like the life of Commonwealth gold-winning wrestler Geeta Phogat, Borasi’s father Munna Borasi has also been grooming her daughter in the field of wresting since she was around 10 years old.

“She was 10 years old when she started the training along with other disciples in my vyayamshala (wrestling arena cum gym). Neelima’s elder sister Renuka (24) also won several medals at the national level. Now Neelima runs her own vyayamshala,” says the proud father.

“At her akhada (traditional wrestling arena), Neelima is now shaping up the wrestling careers of about 50 girls in the age group of 8 to 18 years. Along with wrestling, she has also been imparting training in the the traditional ‘shastra kala’ (martial arts) to the girls,” he says. Neelima is a bronze medallist in the senior national championship in 2013 and eight-time gold medallist in different state championships, Borasi says.

She has now got success in her endeavour and at least 10 girls of her centre won the gold medals in the state-level school tournaments this year, he further says. Neelima, however, says that along with imparting training in wrestling, she is also preparing for the State Public Service Commission examination. “What if the state government does not give me job under the sports quota?” she asked.

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