Amruta Yadav lives in Mumbai with her parents, her sister Geeta and her two brothers. Both her parents are uneducated and her father earns a daily wage by doing odd jobs for a carpenter. Amruta’s family live in a small slumaround Mankhurd, in a house made of tin sheets. Despite living in poverty, Amruta was keen to attend school and fortunately for her, her parents allowed her to attend the local Government school – Mankhurd UPI Government Hindi School in the Gavanpada ward, Mumbai. It was here that she became a Nanhi Kali when she was in Standard 4.
Amruta was introduced to wrestling when she saw 2 girls wrestle, but as she was underweight and discouraged by her sports teacher. This is when Coach Babasaheb Shinde walked into her life. He saw her potential and encouraged her to train with himto become a competent wrestler.However, Amruta’s parents had different plans for her – to send her to the village to get her married! Thanks to the timely intervention from her school teacher who threatened to go to the Police, their child marriage plans were thwarted. Thus, began Amruta’s tryst with wrestling.
Inspite of competing in the 38kg category, Amruta’s coach insisted she wrestle against boys and girls of 44kg just to build her strength and be more competitive. She qualified to wrestle at a State level tournament and won 2 Gold medals in the same year, making her Coach and teachers proud of her hardwork and determination. Today Amruta’s parents are also very proud of her because apart from winning matches, she has won prize money, contributing to the family income. Amruta never backed out from any of her responsibilities be it her financial contribution at home, household chores, her studies or her passion.
While wrestling does take up most of her time, the Nanhi Kali Community Associates at the Academic Support Centre have come to Amruta’s rescue to help her cope with her studies. Through the personal attention she receives from the tutors not only is Amruta doing well in Std 9 but is also preparing for the National Level Wrestling Championship this year.
Amruta dreams to make her country proud one day by winning the Olympics, just like Indian Olympian Sakshi Malik and Common wealth winner Geeta Phogat did! Amruta believes that no matter how difficult the situation, every bout is an opportunity to fight and win. For many girls like Amruta, freeing themselves from the shackles of a narrow-minded society is critical. And having Project Nanhi Kali and Coach Babasaheb Shinde backing her resilient efforts, renews Amruta’s confidence to Rise every day.