Google Doodle celebrates Hamida Banu, All you need India’s first female professional Wrestler 

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Hamida Banu

Google Doodle, known for commemorating special days and people, celebrated Hamida Banu on May 4. Known as India’s first professional female wrestler, Hamida Banu was a trailblazer of her time.

The legacy of Hamida Banu

Born in 1912 in Maharashtra, India, Banu started wrestling at a young age and quickly became known for her strength and skill in the sport. Despite the prevalent social norms strongly discouraging women’s participation in athletics, Banu was passionate and competed with men anyway. She even issued an open challenge to all male wrestlers, wagering her hand in marriage to the first to defeat her.

Banu represented India at the Berlin Olympics in 1936, becoming the first Indian woman to compete in wrestling at the international level. Despite facing tough competition, she put up a strong fight and won the hearts of many with her determination and courage.

She received worldwide recognition for her win in a wrestling match on May 4, 1954, which lasted only 1 minute and 34 seconds. She defeated the famous wrestler Baba Pahalwan. Following the loss, he retired from professional wrestling.

Banu’s achievements paved the way for other women wrestlers in India and inspired a new generation of athletes to pursue their dreams in the sport. She remains a trailblazer in Indian wrestling history and is remembered as a pioneer for women in the sport.

The Google Doodle, illustrated by Bangalore-based artist Divya Negi, depicts Ms Banu surrounded by local flora and fauna. It serves as a reminder of a female’s entry into a sport that was dominated by males in the 1940s and 50s.

Her career even extended into the international arena, where she won against a Russian woman wrestler Vera Chistilin in less than two minutes. Her name appeared in newspaper headlines for years, and she became known as the “Amazon of Aligarh”. The bouts she won, her diet, and her training regimen were widely covered.

Hamida Banu was a trailblazer of her time, and her fearlessness is remembered throughout India and across the world. Outside of her sporting accomplishments, she will always be celebrated for staying true to herself.

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