After adding another feather to his cap, Zubed vows to help WFI revive wrestling in rural India


After adding another feather to his cap, Zubed vows to help WFI revive wrestling in rural India

Okhla-based businessman and philanthropist Dr Zubed Ur Rehman urf Babban Khan has been appointed national vice president of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). While sharing this information and a photo of the coronation event on his social media timeline a few days ago, Khan wrote: “Heartily thankful to Mr Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, national president, Wrestling Federation of India, for appointing Dr Zubed Ur Rehman as national vice president of Wrestling Federation of India.”

The post went viral with congratulatory messages pouring in from across the world and his hometown Chandyana in Uttar Pradesh.

Khan, who also runs Madhusudan Gaushala in his hometown Chandyana, told the OT that he aims to hone skills of wrestlers in rural India as there is a huge potential. Also, he thanked WFI president Singh for providing him an opportunity to popularise India’s traditional game.

“It is an opportunity for me to create awareness about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’ Fit India Movement across the country. Wrestling is very old in India and was known as Malla-Yuddha in old days. It is one of the oldest sports in the world and is considered as a physical exercise to stay fit. And over years the game has evolved through years and got a place in the world sports,” he said.

The game was further developed by the Mughals with influences from Indian Malla-Yuddha.

In villages the game is known as pehlwani or kushti (derive from the Persian terms) and it is still played on mud whereas international and national level tournaments are played on mat. Freestyle wrestling is practiced throughout the world.

The WFI too under the leadership of Singh has been trying to provide proper infrastructure at the rural centres to nurture the budding talent.

Over the years, India has produced several world-class wrestlers including Sakshi Malik, Sushil Kumar Solanki, Udey Chand, Jatindra Charan Goho, Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav (K D Jadhav), Yogeshwar Dutt, Geeta Phogat and others.