Vadodara’s little master when it comes to mallakhamb, Shaurya Jit Ranjit Kumar Khaire, was honored with the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar on Thursday. The glittering award ceremony, held annually on Republic Day, honors young children aged between 5-18 for exceptional talent and exemplary courage. This year, the function was held physically, after two years of the online function owing to the pandemic.
President Draupadi Murmu presided over the ceremony in Delhi. The little known-about sport, mallakhamb, originated in the Indian subcontinent. It involves a gymnast performing aerial yoga or gymnastic postures and wrestling grips in concert with a vertical stationary or hanging wooden pole, cane, or rope. Three popular versions of mallakhamb are practiced using either a sheesham pole, cane, or rope.
“With the award, 10-year-old Shauryajit brings glory to Vadodara. The honor makes him the first-ever sportsperson from Vadodara to have notched a national-level recognition. Added, the award will help spotlight on the little-known sport, mallakhambh,” shared Rahul Choksi, veteran sportsperson and secretary, Gujarat State Mallakhambh Association.
It maybe recalled that Shauryajit won a bronze in the open category mallakhambh at the 36th National Games held for the first time in Gujarat in 2022. “He had just lost his father but Shaurya was determined to participate. He even bagged a medal won huge accolades from PM Modi and sports minister Anurag Thakur,” he added.
Watch PM Modi’s earlier tweet here:
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