Neetu Sarakr is in the process of bringing down many stereotypes in his country. At the age of 13, Neetu Sarkar was married by her parents to a man of 43, mentally handicapped, living in the same village in Bhiwani. Sarkar fled just three days after, causing the wrath of her family. The girl is now married to another man, unemployed, who lives on the hook of his mother. At 14, she gave birth to twins. It is her stepmother who would finance their housing and education of children. Because of this precarious situation, Sarkar could not think of the sport, Wrestling for two or three years but was really fascinated.
A difficult decision, “At first, my family would not let me make the fight and I had to wear a dress when I was struggling.” Said Sarkar the newspaper Hindustan Times, adding, “I really wanted to play the sport however they married me, then I had children, but every time I saw a girl fight, I was attracted I wanted to go see her and ask her what is this sport?”
Sarkar also face the negative reactions of the inhabitants of his village. “People advised my husband not to let me fight but my husband supported me and wanted me to work hard and pursue my dreams.” With his support, Sarkar persevered. Every day, she got up at 3am, walked 90 minutes to reach the village of Rohtak to begin her training at 5:30am She was training more than six hours which of course has eventually paid off.
Despite all these social and economic difficulties, now aged 21 years, Sarkar has become a world-class wrestler. This year, she won a silver medal at the Indian Athletics Championships and represented her country at the Junior World Championships in Brazil in August. She says that people’s vision has changed. “Those who yesterday spoke ill of me and of my passion, now they ask me to teach their daughters how to fight.”