Video Editor: Varun Sharma
“I am a wrestler. I will vote for someone who will get the work done and knock out someone who won't,” said Usman Khan, a wrestler from Alwar and a first-time voter.
When our poll yatra finally brought us to Rajasthan's Chikani, we decided to step into the akhara, while talking about the battle for Rajasthan with wrestlers. The wrestlers opened up about issues that they are facing ahead of the Assembly elections in the state.
During their mock battles, the wrestlers decided to represent the BJP and the Congress. Soon the akharas turned into a political battlefield.
Pahalwans Have to Manage With Makeshift Akharas
Usman Khan and other wrestlers told The Quint that they don’t have a proper akhara to practice and have to make do with temporary set-ups.
“We have no facilities. This is a neighbour’s field. We have made arrangements here. We have to make do with this. We haven’t got any aid from the govt. Alwar is some 14 km from here. But akharas there also don’t have mats. We practice without proper mats and participate in contests.”
Akram Khan who studies in the 11th standard said that there is no government college in his village. “We have a private college in the village. The govt college is in Alwar which is 15 km from here. Drinking water is a problem in the village. Water supply is scarce,” he added.
The dangal between the BJP and the Congress in this akhara ended in a tie. We have to wait to see who knocks out whom in the Rajasthan polls and who has the last laugh.