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Amazon of Aligarh: Google Doodle Celebrates India’s First Female Wrestler Hamida Banu

The celebrated Indian wrestler’s dedication to the sport set an example for aspiring grapplers around the world.

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI — Google on Saturday changed its homepage logo to pay tribute to Hamida Banu, India’s first female wrestler, who excelled in the male-dominated sport during the 1940s and 50s.

Born in the early 1900s and hailing from the historic city of Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, she faced innumerable challenges in a sport generally identified with men. She fearlessly broke all barriers to establish herself as a formidable force in the wrestling arena.

“On this day in 1954, the wrestling match that earned Banu international recognition and acclaim was reported – she had defeated famed wrestler Baba Pahalwan, in just 1 minute and 34 seconds, after which the latter retired from professional wrestling,” Google wrote.

Banu achieved numerous accolades and championships, solidifying her place in wrestling history. She won over 300 competitions between the 1940s and 1950s and achieved pristine glory when women’s participation in the sport was frowned upon in society and strongly discouraged. Her success in the largely patriarchal domain became the epitome of women’s empowerment.

The celebrated wrestler’s dedication to the sport set an example for aspiring grapplers around the world. Her career extended into the international arena as well, where she won against a Russian woman wrestler Vera Chistilin in less than two minutes.

Known as the “Amazon of Aligarh, Banu’s victories not only brought her glory but also paved the way for future generations of female wrestlers to pursue their dreams without limitations. Her impact on the wrestling community continues to resonate, inspiring individuals to push boundaries and strive for excellence in the face of adversity.

Her courage is often remembered throughout India and across the world. Apart from her sporting accomplishments, Banu will always be remembered and eulogised for staying true to herself and choosing what she loved the most without caring about the usual social norms.

Google Doodle’s tribute to Hamida Banu serves as an acknowledgment of her indelible mark on the world of wrestling. As her story is commemorated and shared with the global audience, her legacy lives on, reminding us of the power of perseverance, passion, and dedication in achieving greatness in any field and breaking gender stereotypes.

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