The New Star of Boxing
After having achieved the desired gold medal in the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in the 48kg category, Nitu Ghanghas is the new star of female Indian boxing. This was Nitu’s first gold medal in the Commonwealth Games. The 21-year-old girl from Bhiwani, Haryana has already established her name by winning several laurels in different youth international competitions such as gold in the Balkan Youth International competition and Youth Women’s World Boxing competition, gold medal in Asian Youth Championship, gold medal in the senior level in Europe’s oldest boxing competition, Strandja Memorial Boxing Championship in Sofia, Bulgaria this year, etc.
Initial Hardship of Nitu Ghanghas
Nitu started boxing in 2012. She was only 12 years old at that time. But it did not become easy at all to play a game like boxing and continue it for a girl at that time. Nitu had to face ruthless obstructions from her society. Talking over the phone from her village Dhanana, near Bhiwani, Nitu remembered,
“The neighbors, relatives (as I belong to a joint family) and local friends of my parents-all used to condemn my father’s decision of inspiring me for boxing. They used to slam them by teasing me and often commented that my parents probably had gone mad. No one would marry me. Still, my parents, having ignored all those too harshly-stated comments, used to inspire me for the game.”
Today, the story has changed a lot, quite similar to Balali village which was reformed socially through wrestling by Gita Phogat and her sisters with the help of their Dronacharya awardee Mahavir Phogat. Nitu Ghanghas also saw the same people in her village going to her house with sweets and flowers after she returned with a Commonwealth Games gold medal. Nitu exclaimed,
“Nowadays, I truly enjoy watching more girls from my village joining boxing. All have been inspired by my laurels and I feel this is also one of my big achievements.”
Nitu Ghanghas & The Sacrifice of a Father
Nitu’s father, Jai Bhagwan was an employee at the Haryana Rajya Sabha in Chandigarh. Nitu’s mother Mukesh Devi once revealed that as her daughter was naughty in school and often fought with her friends at school, Bhagwan pushed Nitu toward boxing. But initially, after starting boxing Nitu’s progress was very poor. So, in a bid to motivate his daughter Bhagwan took a considerable risk, leaving the secured job at Haryana Rajya Sabha and taking a loan of a big amount to take care of Nitu’s boxing and materialize her dreams of becoming a successful boxer. Bhagwan started farming on a small stretch of land and Nitu, remembering the great sacrifice, stated,
“I would not have earned even these laurels if my father had not been there.”
Mary Kom and Little Regret
Nitu Ghanghas is called ‘The Next Mary Kom‘ for being a southpaw and for her speed, power, and aggression in the ring. However, Nitu sounded a little embarrassed and said,
“May Com is a legend. Only due to her performance female boxing in India has reached the world and earned respect. How can I be compared with her?”-- Advertisement --
Nitu also has little regret about the Mary Com issue. Her first regret is that due to Mary’s foot injury the trial for Indian team selection for the Commonwealth Games between Nitu and Mary could not be finished. Nitu’s second regret is that Mary has not sent her any wishes or congratulatory messages after Nitu won gold in her category.
However, in the Asian Games next year and Paris Summer Olympics in 2024, Nitu will be competing in the 50 kg weight category and there she will have to face a tough challenge from another Indian boxing star Nikhat Zareen to get into the national squad.