Jharkhand tribal girl overcomes life's hurdles, qualifies for World Wrestling Championship

The poor financial condition of the family led Chanchala Kumari to join sports, which she converted into an opportunity.
Wrestler Chanchala Kumari
Wrestler Chanchala Kumari

RANCHI: In a first, Chanchala Kumari of Jharkhand will represent India at the sub-junior World Wrestling Championship to be held in Budapest in Hungary from July 19-25. 

Notably, Chanchala is the first player from the state who will be representing the country in wrestling.

Jharkhand has already proved its talent in the field of cricket, hockey, and archery during several national and international events and has given legends such as cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni, archer Dipika Kumari, and several others. 

Chanchala, a tribal student of the first batch of Jharkhand State Sports Promotion Society (JSSPS), stood first in the selection trial conducted in New Delhi recently.

Father Narendra Nath Pahan, who works as a plumber besides does farming for a living, said that their poor financial condition proved to be a boon for her daughter due to which she was forced to take up sports as a career.

“Since she was good at studies, I wanted her to study further but due to poor financial condition, she was forced to take up sports as a career and finally landed where she is now. As I could not afford her studies, we were preparing to send her to any government residential school so that she can get free education there, but she was meant for something else. Before we could do that, she appeared for the trial conducted by JSSPS and qualified easily,” said Pahan. Even then we did not know what to do next, he added.

“Later, she was called by JSSPS for trial again for which she appeared. After a trial for almost every game, Chanchala opted for the most unusual sport -- wrestling -- as it attracted her the most,” said Pahan. She was full of confidence since her childhood who would often say that she will play for India someday.

Pahan further said: It is really a proud moment for me that my daughter will be representing India at an international event."

Mother Maino Devi said like her other siblings, Chanchala also used to work with them in the farmland very often but they never thought that she will be ploughing a different field and make them proud.

Jharkhand State Wrestling Association president Bholanath Singh asserted that Chanchala has all potential to scale heights and since the start of her career she has been gradually taking high strides.

“She has already won a few medals at national meets.  She won a silver in SGFI games in 2017 and also clinched two successive gold medals in these meets which were held over the next two years,” said Singh. She was inducted to the India camp about a year back to hone her skills, he added.

According to Singh, Chanchala was picked up by the Sports Authority of India (SAI), Lucknow, where she was training for about a year now. It is really a proud moment for the entire wrestling fraternity in Jharkhand as Chanchala has become the first-ever wrestler to have qualified for the world championship, he said.

Notably, Chanchala belongs to JSSPS, a joint venture between Central Coalfields Limited (CCL) and the state sports department, which runs various academies at the mega sports complex in Hotwar to help budding players hone their skills.

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The New Indian Express