Thanks to our love for Bollywood, the name Mahavir Singh Phogat has now became a household name. Those who have watched the blockbuster movie ‘Dangal’ know that he is the same wrestler-cum-coach whose role was essayed by Aamir Khan. In the movie, we saw him as the determined father who wanted his daughters to succeed and go on to achieve a feat he himself failed to achieve.
Yes, we fell in love with him because he didn’t differentiate between a daughter and a son. However, there are still some facts around his inspiring life that we’re all unaware about. Today, let’s try to know beyond what the movie and media has told us.
Beyond the movie
Besides a biopic, there’s also a biography around Mahavir Phogat’s life and story. Akhada is name of his authorized biography and it is is penned by sports journalist Sourabh Duggal. The book was released on 21st December 2016 at the Chandigarh Press Club.
A family of daughters and sportspeople
Besides training and ensuring the success of his own four daughters, Mahavir Singh Phogat also took care of his deceased brother’s daughters Vinesh and Priyanka. Including himself, the Phogat family has 7 people who are sports enthusiasts and most of whom have represented India at one point or another in wrestling.
The disappointment of bearing daughters
While in the movie, it is shown that Mahavir Phogat was disappointed on having a daughter rather than a son. In fact, we are made to believe that Mahavir and his wife repeatedly try to bear a son but end up with four daughters instead. In reality though it was the girls’ mother who was more disappointed as she was the one who wished for a boy. In ‘Akhada: The Authorized Biography of Mahavir Singh Phogat’, Saurabh Duggal writes about this in detail.
Not an extraordinary achiever in sports
Mahavir Singh Phogat was not a champion wrestler. Except for his three-year stint at the akhada of Chandgi Ram in Delhi and winning a few local dangal events, his sporting journey can be termed as ordinary. However, it was good enough to land him government jobs in Haryana Electricity Board and the Border Security Force.
The turning point
In 2000, Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala announced a reward of Rs 1 crore for any Haryanvi winning an Olympic gold. It was after this announcement combined with Karnam Malleswari winning the bronze in weightlifting at Sydney Olympics, that Mahavir pledged to produce a player from his own family who would win the award one day.
Did you know these things about Mahavir Singh Phogat? Is there anything you know and we missed out on mentioning here? Let us know in the comments!