Keeping the spirit of dangal alive in the akhadas of Haryana
The village of Sisai, Hisar held the 15th International Padmashri Dangal on 15th March 2020. The annual event was organized for the first time 15 years ago with the intention of keeping the spirit of “dangal” alive. It has steadily grown in the past few years, with a huge number of people thronging to the “akhadas” of Haryana. The event was graced by the presence of Subhash Coach, Baljit Sihag, Surendra Kaliraman, Robin Khalifa, Pradeep Sisai, Dharmapal Jain, Bijendra Rana , and Respected MP Shri Sushil Gupta. This year’s edition had a record number of participants with over 600 men and women taking part in the dangal and over 5000 people attending the event to witness the age-old tradition.
“This whole thing was started 15 years ago and we are grateful that our village is trying to keep alive an art-form we all have grown up with. I’m very proud to see the enthusiasm of the participants which is ever-increasing and shows no sign of slowing down. I hope that such events inspire more young adults to take up this sport and keep its essence alive and thriving,” said Deep Sisai, Serial Entrepreneur.
To keep the audience and the participants entertained, there was a singing performance in the akhada. Famous Haryanvi folk singers Amit Dhull, Binder Danoda, and K.D. Danoda kept the crowd’s spirits high and filled the atmosphere with melodies. They pulled in huge crowds towards the stage and had them dancing to their music in no time. Some of the participants also got into the swing of things and called it a refreshing moment, much needed from the kushti ongoing in the akhada.
The winners were all awarded with a cash prize of INR 1 lakh each. The winner of the Women’s kushti was Haryana ‘s Pooja Sihag Sisai, the Men’s final bout was a draw between Iran’s Abdul Razzak and India’s Preet Singh Indira. The prize money was shared equally with the two finalists. The Sarpanch of Sisai encouraged the dangal participants and said that there is no shortage of sports talent in rural areas, it is necessary to organize such competitions to bring them forward.