In conversation with Devvrat Chaudhary, a wrestler at Chandgi Ram Akhada, Delhi

Devvrat Chaudhary, 21 years old, is a professional wrestler. He has participated in many tournaments and won 4 prizes in National tournaments. He received a gold medal in National Championship of 2013. He won a gold medal in All India University. He is a part of a hereditary profession. His family had very well-known wrestlers. He started wrestling when he was 12 years old.

Q- When have you decided to do wrestling?

I have started wrestling at the age of 10. I participated in my school kushti championship. I have joined this akhada when I was 15 years old.

Q-Why all wrestlers believe in Hanuman ji?

According to Hindu religion, he is a symbol of power and endurance which is must for a wrestler. That is why every wrestler have faith in Hanuman ji. Mainly every akhada have a Hanuman ji temple in which they worship every morning. For us, he is our ideal, our inspiration.

Q- Is there any girl who is learning wrestling from this akhada?

Yes. There are girls in our akhada who are learning wrestling here from our guru ji. There are 3-4 girls of the age groups – 18-20 and 20-25. Some of them even received SENIOR NATIONAL MEDAL.

Q- How much you have to pay per month to learn here?

There are no charges for anyone in this akhada. Nobody has to pay anything to learn here. Their personal expenses were given by them only, there were no further charges.

Q- Is there any income source for this profession?

Yes. There are various tournaments that take place and there is prize money of Rs.5 lakh and even more. I have participated in many of these tournaments and won many times and got several prize money of 50,000 and even 1 lakh. Now, a lot of private tournaments are taking place in which we participate to win prize money. Even the gold medalist of commonwealth games and many international games were given government jobs in CISF, Delhi Police, Rajasthan Police, Punjab police etc. When these wrestlers win any other medal, they are promoted in their job.

Q-Which kind of diet is required for so much power and strength?

High protein diet is must for wrestlers because we need a lot power, strength to practice for long duration of hours. We were not allowed to have very spicy food that is not good for our health.

Q-How many hours you have to practice each day?

We practice nearly for 4 hours each day, 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening and even more when tournaments were near. When we have our tournaments, we practice for more than 6 hours.

Q-What are your major achievements in this profession?

I won ‘BHARAT KESARI’ title within 2 years of my profession.
I Won NATIONAL MEDAL in 2013.
I also won a GOLD MEDAL IN ALL INDIA UNIVERSITY CHAMPIONSHIP.
I won 4 prize in NATIONAL TOURNAMENTS.

Q- What kind of family background do you have?

My father is an advocate. My nanaji CHANDGI RAAM JI is a very well-known wrestler and he has won 82 ASIARD AWARD. My aunt is a NATIONAL CHAMPION in wrestling. She has won ‘BHARAT KESARI’. My mamaji JAGDISH KALIRAMAN is a wrestler and has also choreographed Salman khan in SULTAN, a Bollywood movie based on a wrestler’s life.

Q- Does your family support you?

Yes, my family supports me a lot because there are a lot of people in my family involved in this profession. They have never pressurized me for joining kushti and all. I have made this decision to join an akhada and further the profession of wrestling.

Q- What are your plans for the upcoming years?

I wanted to win a medal in Commonwealth Games which is a very tough work. And I need to work very hard to achieve that goal. I am hoping to bring several medals for our country.