TBI Blogs: #DelhiHeroes: Maha Singh Rao of the Akhara Where Rajiv Tomar, Dara Singh & Sushil Kumar Trained

Delhi I Love You - Delhi, I Love You is an independent socio-cultural movement of love in the city. A heady mixture of history, environment, art, music and social initiatives, the movement is aimed at celebrating the city through an extensive programming of collaborative projects.

Dronacharya awardee, Maha Singh Rao is a coach at Delhi’s acclaimed Guru Hanuman Akhara, that has produced countless Indian wrestling legends.

It was a year ago that, during a team meeting, we sat down with the Excel sheet of events that we hoped to execute in Delhi. We began discussing ideas, concepts and events which would highlight the positive things this city has to offer. We were thinking of the different ways in which we could highlight the things we loved about our city – its unique spaces, the lip-smacking food, urban subcultures, cinema complexes, traditional sports and, most importantly, its people. That is when we can up with the idea of ‘Delhi Heroes.’

At ‘Delhi, I Love You,’ we believe that a story that is powerful should be documented for life, hence, our obsession with making videos. While drafting any project proposal, members of our team take on several roles and brainstorm several possibilities, the biggest of which is often: ‘How would it look as a film?’

To acknowledge the best of Delhi, #DelhiHeroes, became an 8-part video series of Delhi, as told through the Delhiites who know it best. These women and men are not superheroes, but each of them is playing a significant role, in their own subtle way, to ensure we continue to love this city. They are heroes for us.

Here’s the first of the eight videos: ‘Kushti’ with Maha Singh Rao at Delhi’s Guru Hanuman Akhara.

Dronacharya awardee, Maha Singh Rao is the coach, guru and trainer at the Guru Hanuman Akhara.

Started by the legendary wrestler, Guru Hanuman, this Akhara is home to many award winning wrestlers like Rajiv Tomar, Dara Singh, and Sushil Kumar.

“This academy has produced many award winners for India;16 Arjuna Awardees, 3 Padmashrees, 6 Dronacharya Awardees as well as countless Olympians,” says Maha Singh Rao, with a hint of pride.

“For wrestlers, the akhara is their temple, and even the mud from which it is made is sacred,” he explains.

 

Rao has been in the service of the Akhara for 40 years and ensures that the sport continues to remain a favourite amongst locals.

Watch other #DelhiHeroes in action here. Learn more about the “Delhi, I Love You” movement here.

Featured Image Source: Facebook

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