In conversation with Dharmendra Singh, a wrestler at Guru Jasram Akhada, Delhi

Q- Where are you basically from?

I belong to Delhi itself. My family lives near the Alipur village, which is near by our akhada.

Q- What is your educational background?

I have completed my schooling from Delhi itself, and I have completed my graduation through Delhi University. I have done my post-graduation also from Delhi University.

Q- When and why you have joined this akhada?

I have joined this akhada when I was 15 years old. I have joined this akhada because it is nearby my house and due to the popularity of this akhada. Guru ji invited to me in this akhada to train me. Thereafter, I won many tournaments in our village.

Q- What kind of wrestling do you do?

We here perform both kind of wrestling that is mat and mud based. In national tournaments, mat based wrestling takes place, and in dangals mud based wrestling takes place.

Q- What kind of family background do you have? Did they support you?

My father is a farmer. He lives in the village. He wanted me to join wrestling due to the popularity of this sport. He also wanted me to stay away from alcohol consumption and smoking. We have to stay away from these things because of wrestling. It strengthens our body and our physical fitness.

Q- What are your major achievements in this profession?

I have won SILVER MEDAL IN DELHI UNIVERSITY WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIP IN 2002 (59 KG).
GOLD MEDAL IN MTNL CHAMPIONSHIP IN CHANDIGARH IN 2004.
PARTICIPATED IN DELHI STATE WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIP IN 2015.
PARTICIPATED IN NATIONAL WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIP IN NASIK.

Q- What are your sources of income?

I am doing a job of security in-charge. I have also won many dangal fights with prize money of Rs.51, 000, 21,000 and also of 11,000. So, I managed my expenses due to my job and dangals.

Q- What are the main equipment’s for wrestling?

There are many essential equipment’s for wrestling like
• wrestling kit
• track pants
• costume

Q- What is your daily routine?

We all here wake up at 4 in the morning and do some warm up until 6 am and them we practice kushti for 3 hours in the morning. Then we take our diet at 10 am. We take rest then in the day and start practicing again at 5 pm in the evening. We practice for nearly 5 hours every day.

Q- Is there is any caste based limitation in this akhada?

No this is a paradox thinking. These kinds of things now are not in our akhada. Boys here come from different backgrounds and from different religions.

Q- Who is your inspiration behind your career?

There are a lot of people who worked as my inspiration in my difficult eras. Our Guru ji played the most essential role in my life. He always inspired me, always encouraged me. My father also played a very important role in my life. He always encouraged me for joining wrestling. He was an ideal person for me.

Q- For which upcoming tournament are you preparing now?

We all here are preparing for our village tournament which is going to be held in July. Vikram ji and Azad ji are going to conduct this tournament for the encouragement of young wrestlers in our village. All our junior wrestlers are preparing for this tournament.