In conversation with Ramesh Kukde, a wrestler at Prem Nath Akhada, Delhi

Q- Tell me something about yourself.

I belong to Nasik, Maharashtra. I came Delhi about 4 years ago to learn wrestling here. Delhi is now a center of attraction for the wrestlers. There are a lot of prominent akhadas here. I have started wrestling at 12 years.

Q- Have you done your studies?

I have done my schooling from Maharashtra. I have studied till class 12, I had humanities. I am not able to continue my education after that due to my career plans.

Q- So are you planning to do some progress in your education?

No, I think I am done with my education. I don’t want any other qualifications for my wrestling. So I don’t have further plans for pursuing higher education.

Q- Why have you chosen this akhada?

This akhada is very famous in Delhi. Our coach is an ARJUNA AWARDEE and a very famous Indian wrestler. So I decided to come here.

Q- Why did you choose this profession?

I wanted to be a wrestler. From my school onwards I was a sports person and took part in many games like kushti and karate.

Q- So do you think Delhi is better than any other place for training of wrestlers?

Delhi is the national capital which made it the center of attraction. In our Maharashtra we have a lot of championships of wrestling, Maharashtra is a very famous place for sports these days.

Q- In what kind of tournament you took part?

I mainly took part in army wrestling tournaments and state and national wrestling championship.

Q- What are your major achievements in this field?

I won a BRONZE MEDAL IN DELHI CHAMPIONSHIP IN 2012. I won GOLD MEDAL IN 70KG in Maharashtra. I won BRONZE MEDAL IN ARMY CHAMPIONSHIP IN 2014. I got a job in army due to my medal in national championship. Indian Government financially supports us to promote these sports in India. Wrestling has become a popular sport these days.

Q- What kind of family background do you have?

My father is a farmer, my mother is a housewife. My family used to support me a lot. They want me to join this akhada and achieve great success in this field.

Q- So how could you maintain your job as well as your tournaments?

I don’t have to be regular on my job. I just practice here for the upcoming tournaments. I have to visit rarely to my office. So there is nothing like a hectic schedule for me.

Q- In what kind of tournaments you have taken part till now?

I have participated in many tournaments like
• Dangal- which are village based fights taking place in mud. I had won many dangal fights.
• Army wrestling tournaments- Since I am an army officer I have to participate in army based tournaments.
• Senior wrestling championships- I have participated in many senior wrestling championships which took place every year.

Q- What is your daily routine?

I woke up at 4 am. I practice for 2 hours in the morning. At 8 am, I eat my diet which is provided to me. I again sleep from 11 till 2. After that I practice till 6, then take my diet and again go to bed at 10.
This is my routine for every time except Sunday. Sunday is an off for us. I take rest the whole day. I don’t make further plans on Sunday.

Q- Is there is any kit required for your practice?

Yes there are some important equipment’s for wrestling like:
• shoes
• costume which are different for women and men.

Q- Are you having some financial problems or not?

No, my family supports me a lot. I get my salary every month, but I am not able to save any money. I spend all of my money on my diet which is a must for me. Sometimes my family sends me money, whenever I need it.

Q- Have you done wrestling in your school?

Yes, I am a National level player in my school. I have participated in many State and National wrestling competitions.
I have won 3 GOLD MEDAL in wrestling at National level. I was also a Kabbadi player in my school. I took part in both the games, kabbadi is similar to kushti.

Q- Was it your decision to join wrestling?

Yes, it was totally upon me to do anything. I was very interested in wrestling from school times. So I used to participate in many tournaments. Later on after my schooling, I joined this akhada for some national tournaments of India. My family never forced me to do anything.

Q- Do you visit your hometown or not?

Yes, I have to visit my hometown obviously. I visit my hometown in every 2-3 months to meet my family and relatives.

Q- Is there is any difference in treatment of girls and boys in the akhada?

We don’t focus on the gender differences, we consider everyone as a wrestler here. Due to this there are a lot of women wrestlers trained here.

Q- Which are your upcoming tournaments for which you are preparing yourself?

I am preparing myself for the upcoming tournaments of army in 2017.
I am also going to take part in the ALL INDIA WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIP.

Q- Where do you want to see yourself after 10 years?

Till then I will get a medal in the ALL INDIA WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIP. I will also be a medalist in the Commonwealth Games.