While Dangal is ruling the box office with the inspiring story of Phogat sisters becoming international wrestlers, more stories of ‘dhakad’ sportswomen from across the country are coming into the limelight.
This inspiring story of a mother-daughter powerlifter duo — Sangita aka Jyotika Patekar (48) and Vaibhavi Patekar (17) is also winning hearts.
Image for representation only. Source: Pixabay
Jyotika, a former powerlifter, not only encouraged and trained her daughter, but also took up the sport once again. According to a report in The Times of India, Jyotika was a part of the very first team from Mumbai to participate in powerlifting in 1984. Though she had a flair for the sport, she had to give it up after she was married in 1990 and moved to Goregaon in Raigad district, Maharashtra. For the past 26 years, she has been helping her husband in their small business of selling sandwiches.
Over the years, she’d often miss her school days and powerlifting. When her keen eye spotted the talent and aptitude for powerlifting in her 17-year-old daughter Vaibhavi, she took it upon herself to train her in the best way possible.
“Madhukar Darekar, my sports teacher from Chembur High School, had encouraged me to take up the sport in 1984-85. So recently, when my daughter Vaibhavi showed an inclination to powerlifting, I did what my sports teacher had done for me,” Jyotika told TOI.
Vaibhavi’s training with Jyotika began three months ago. They’d train at night in a local gym. Jyotika worked at their roadside stall during the day, and Vaibhavi attended classes at NM Joshi Vidyabhavan, where she is a student of Class 12.
In November 2016, Vaibhavi stood first in the district level competition by lifting 180 kg- 70 kg squat, 25 kg bench press and 85 kg deadlift. She then gave a power packed performance in Mumbai division to qualify for the state-level competition held at Jalgaon, where she stood fourth.
After taking up the sport again, Jyotika herself became a champion powerlifter too. She participated in the open category at Jalgaon and clinched a gold medal.
“I took up powerlifting after listening to stories of my mother’s achievements. I am therefore doubly happy that while I reached the state level, she won the gold medal in her weight category. Her dream of returning to the sport has come true,” said Vaibhavi.
The mother-daughter duo has now become famous in the locality as the ‘Dangal team’. They are getting help as well as appreciation from many. Zarina Screwala of Swadesh Foundation helped them last year; and another social service group Uran Alive is also trying to assist them.
Jayant Patekar, Jyotika’s husband, who earlier did not approve of his daughter’s taking up powerlifting has now come around and is proud and supportive. Jyotika aims to start a proper training facility for girls in Mangaon in the future.