While cricket remains the most-loved game in India and remains a favourite for those who want to take up sport in a big way, some traditional sports like kabaddi are also getting the limelight they deserve.
While the passion for traditional sport is there, lack of proper infrastructure and facilities remain a problem.
A club in Delhi run by a sport-enthusiast couple is nurturing young, talented girls in the sport of kabaddi. The club, has so far, produced 13 - 4 international Kabaddi players. The Palam Sports Club, is run by a husband-wife duo, where 50-year-old Neelam Sahu trains the girls and her husband, Ajay Sahu manages the secretarial work of the club, including looking after the managerial aspects. the entire management.
Speaking to Edex Live, Ajay said,
“Many players come from far off areas and mostly hail from underprivileged backgrounds. They walk for 7-10 km as they cannot afford to use public transport every day. Despite the hardships, they would perform well on the ground. So, we decided to make things easier for them. We vacated one room in our house and accommodated the players there.”
Neelam has been training young girls in the field of kabaddi, for the last 23 years. From the club alone, 12 girls have represented India on an international level.
But the road to success is not always smooth, Neelam and Ajay had to face because they ran the club in rented premises. Neelam said, “The landlord would often be reluctant to keep so many girls simply because they may use more water. As a result, I had to tell my own girls to use less water because if we were to be thrown out, where would I keep the kids, reports The Logical Indian.
Despite the difficulties, the duo never gave up on their mission to train students. Witnessing the success of students, people from neighboring states, like Uttar Pradesh and Haryana also started approaching the club. The couple have now rented a flat near Palam School where players can rest in between their training sessions.
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