As Divya Kakran would fight boys at small village dangals (wrestling matches) all over North India, her father Suraj would sell langots (a type of underwear used by wrestlers) outside.
Both would walk home with the money they earned, with Divya earning more than her father on most days.
Soon Divya became a known wrestler in India, and her father continued with his langot business.
Divya, now 19, won her first gold medal during the Senior National Wrestling Championship on Friday in Indore.
Suraj, unfortunately, missed her victory moment as he was outside the stadium selling langots. However, he was proud of her and how she ran the family with the money she earns through her wrestling. The two returned to their East Delhi home with a gold medal.
“Every time I wrestle, I try to pin. But today I wanted to wrestle for six minutes and score points so the others know that I can do both things. Pinning was an option, but I was getting exposed and giving up points too easily. I was tired because I vomited thrice before the bouts today. I think weight cut was the reason. But I am happy I pulled it off as I had planned,” she told The Indian Express.
Divya had to stop her wrestling career for three months in between due to kidney stone and had to miss the trial for Worlds. She decided to shift her base to UP has she didn’t feel Delhi provided her with much. “I have medals at national and international level but there is nothing in return, so I decided to wrestle for UP. At least there is cash rewards for medal winners,” she told the publication.
Divya is now looking forward to two big tournaments next year – the U23 Worlds in Poland and the Commonwealth Championships. She just wants to keep moving forward and never look back.