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Father of Kabaddi: Janardhan Singh Gehlot who evolved the face of Kabaddi

Gehlot had played a very crucial role in sports sector by making Kabaddi an internationally recognized sport. Not just kabaddi but outside sports world he was greatly inclined towards politics as well.

Janardhan Singh Gehlot popularly recognised as the ‘Father of Kabaddi’ was the founder president of the International Kabaddi Federation. Gehlot was the president of Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI) for 28 years and in May 2013, he became the life president of AKFI. He was born on October 5 , 1944 in Jaipur Rajasthan and passed away on 28th April 2021 at the age of 77 years due to a prolonged illness.

Adding more to his contributions ,Gehlot was the President of the Rajasthan Olympic Association. He was a member of the Indian National Congress before leaving in 2008 and joining the Bharatiya Janata Party and later rejoined Congress in 2019.

Starting his political journey, he forayed in politics as a member of Congress and became MLA from Karauli thrice and once from Jaipur as well. He also served under Congress as the Minister of Food Supply and it is said that he had a very close relationship with Sanjay Gandhi. Later, in 2008, he decided to leave Congress and joined the BJP, here he was elected as the chairman of the Rajasthan warehousing corporation. But before the last Lok Sabha elections in 2019, he rejoined Congress.

Father of Kabaddi: Janardhan Singh Gehlot who evolved the face of Kabaddi

Gehlot had played a very crucial role in sports sector by making Kabaddi an internationally recognized sport. Not just kabaddi but outside sports world he was greatly inclined towards politics as well.

Looking at his journey of making kabaddi so big as we know it today, it was all started in 1984 in Los Angeles Olympics which eventually became the first international platform where Gehlot got a golden chance to promote Kabaddi. He grabbed the opportunity and actively got involved with representatives of many participating countries and spoke to them about the sport of Kabaddi.

Later in 1988 Seoul Olympics, Gehlot continued his dedication to promote Kabaddi and in 1990, he fully focused on Beijing Asian Games with the target of getting Kabaddi in Asian Games. But this was not a easy task as China was not a Kabaddi playing nation but somehow, he passed this challenge successfully and for the first time, China played Kabaddi in the Beijing Asian Games and finally the Indian sport of Kabaddi was included in Asian Games.

Gehlot opend the door for Kabbadi in International arena and it started progressing as Kabaddi started to get popular in neighboring countries of Indian. After that he faced several hurdles in his way of making Kabaddi a world known sport. His biggest contributions to the sport has been the change of rules and giving a new fresh face to kabaddi which increased the pace and interest of Kabaddi as a sport.

Father of Kabaddi: Janardhan Singh Gehlot who evolved the face of Kabaddi

Gehlot was also the one to launch Women’s Kabaddi by organizing Asian Women’s Kabaddi Tournament in Hyderabad.

Dedicating a big part of his life to Indian sports, India will always remain grateful for his major contributions, from visualizing kabaddi becoming an internationally recognized sport to making this envision possible. He is ultimately one person who has given birth to modern kabaddi that the whole world enjoys today.

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