For over three decades, a pehalwan has been training wrestlers in his village free of cost
Mulchand Rajvanshi is usually to be found in his akhaada in Palhapur village in UP’s Sitapur district, showing his proteges wrestling moves, that he hopes will bring home some glory nationally and internationally.
Ramji Mishra 14 Sep 2023 7:55 AM GMT
Palhapur (Sitapur), Uttar Pradesh
Everyone knows where Mulchand Rajvanshi’s akhaada is in Palhapur village in Sitapur district in Uttar Pradesh.
The muddy akhaada or wrestling arena is usually home to dozens of teenaged boys tackling their opponents. From a distance, Rajvanshi shouts out instructions and intervenes if there is a breach in wrestling protocol.
“This year, four of my students — Ayush Singh, Harshit Shukla, Ankit Kumar and Abhay Shukla will compete at the state level wrestling competition in Uttar Pradesh,” Rajvanshi, told Gaon Connection.
The wrestling coach is 65 years old and his fitness levels are manifested when he participates in marathons runs which are 42.195 kilometres long.
“I did not marry. I wanted to do something for society. I could not picture myself as leading a married life and working only for the interests of my family. I want my boys to win medals for the country and bring glory to India,” Rajvanshi said.
Many of his pupils are now serving in the Indian Army, he said.
“It feels good to see people excel, heal and do well in life. Not just people but animals too. Whenever I see an injured cow or a bull, I try to treat their wounds. I own 12 cows and I know how to attend to animals,” he said.
Rajvanshi is a farmer with three acres of land which he said was enough to keep him on his wrestling path. He teaches wrestling for free but his trainees have to fund for their diets at the akhaada.
Young athletes grateful to their guru
Ayush Singh, a 16-year-old state-level wrestler said, “All the medals that I have won are because of my guru ji. His akhada is always buzzing. I won the first prize in the 66th State Secondary School Wrestling Competition in 2022. I wish to win a medal for India in the Olympics,” Singh told Gaon Connection.
Siblings 16-year-old Abhay Shukla and 14-year-old Ayush Kumar Shukla, are also preparing to compete at a state level event in Muzaffarnagar district.
“I am excited about my wrestling competition. I want to win in the event and dedicate my win to my guru ji,” Abhay told Gaon Connection.
Singh’s gratitude for Rajvanshi is reminiscent of a report which Gaon Connection recently published on Neeraj Chopra’s coaches who have trained him throughout his career. In the report, there was a mention of two coaches who recognised the budding talent in Chopra in his village when he was 13-year-old.
Rajvanshi learnt wrestling in his childhood from his uncle Mahatma Ganesh Prasad, and it became a lifelong passion with him.
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“His exercise sessions can put youngsters to shame. He not only trains the youth but also provides them with milk and dry fruits. Rajvanshi ji is a gem to the society. We are proud to have a person like him who not only trains young people but also guides them in life,” Chhotelal Shukla, Rajvanshi’s 52-year-old neighbour, told Gaon Connection.