THE Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar districts in the suburbs of the Capital might be famous for their fast- changing urban character, but there is another reason that makes these UP districts distinct.
The lives of the people in the rural pockets of these districts have changed after receiving compensations in lieu of their lands over the past few years, but one thing that has not changed for decades is their love for wrestling.
Villages in Gautam Budh Nagar like Sarfabad, Garhi Chowkhandi and Behlolpur and those in Ghaziabad like Shahpur Bamheta, Sadarpur and Sihani have not only produced wrestlers at district levels but have also given state, national and even international- level grapplers.
" Wrestling is in our blood. Our forefathers did it, then our fathers, and now we are doing it and then our children will also go the same way. We cannot think of anything else and cannot imagine life without wrestling," 21- year- old Krishan Yadav, a wrestler from Shahpur Bamheta who now practices at the Railways akhara in Delhi, said.