BJP leader Gopichand Padalkar demands mega wrestling event to honour Lahuji Salve

Padalkar said that Salve was a great sportsperson and attracted youth to the game and stood by Mahatma Phule and his wife Savitribai when they faced flak for their social work.

Kalpesh MhamunkarUpdated: Tuesday, August 02, 2022, 12:55 PM IST
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BJP leader Gopichand Padalkar demands mega wrestling event to honour Lahuji Salve | File

Born in 1794, Lahuji Salve learnt wrestling from his father and became an expert wrestler, which eventually earned him the title of 'Vastad' (or master) and he also owned a gymnasium at Ganj Peth in Pune. Wrestling has remained a traditional and popular game in Maharashtra for years.

Speaking at a programme, BJP MLC Gopichand Padalkar said Salve could be an inspiration for the youths.

“Salve had given protection to social reformist Mahatma Jyotiba Phule. Salve started wrestling in villages and attracted many youths to the game. However, the earlier Maharashtra Government never honoured him or never named any scheme in his name,” the BJP leader said.

Coming up with a proposal with the newly formed State Government, Padalkar said “I have asked Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavisji to start mega wrestling even fully funded by the state. I would personally meet him and request for immediate steps in this regards,” he said.

Due to the path-breaking work by Phule and his wife Savitribai, the couple had to face severe criticism and physical attacks sometimes. Lahuji, stood by them to protect them from the attacks and helped in their social reforms. Phule also appreciated Lahuji for his dedication to the social cause.

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