It is inspirational to learn about the journey of Neetu, now a Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) officer and a wrestler, who lives in Haryana’s Bhiwani district and how she made a mark for herself against all odds.
Her life journey starts from getting married at the age of 12-and-a-half years, then trying her hand at wrestling and achieving success and now currently a Sashastra Seema Bal officer.
At the age when children study in schools, Neetu was asked to clean the toilet of her mentally weak husband in her first marriage. Her parents got her married at the age of 12-and-a-half years to a 45-year-old man who was mentally ill but from a wealthy family.
With an unemployed and mentally ill husband, Neetu was now faced with the prospect of spending her entire life in the same family, but fate had other plans in store for her. On the one hand it was difficult to make ends meet and on the other hand, her father-in-law looked at her with bad intentions. This was the reason Neetu left her first husband’s house and family.
After a few months, Neetu’s parents remarried her into another family. Neetu got the much needed love from this family. She is quite happy living with them and is also the mother of twins.
Due to unemployment, Neetu did not have enough money to take proper care of her children while they were growing up as she could not fulfil their basic primary needs.
Neetu told IANS, “I was initially engaged and finally got married to the same individual, before which I was married to a middle-aged man whose father looked at me with a perverted gaze. After a few days I broke all ties with that family but immediately a second marriage took place.”
“I am happy staying with my second husband’s family and also am a mother of two children. My husband loves me very much. After trying my hand at wrestling, I got selected for a job in the Sashastra Seema Bal in 2016. During this time, the officials working with me supported me a lot. Being supported by the whole armed forces department, there has never been any problem which I faced,” Neetu added.
Earlier, due to the deteriorating financial condition, she started stitching clothes at a shop, taking her two children along with her. Although the children were small, they damaged one of the items kept in the shop, annoying the owner.
Facing the shopkeeper’s wrath, Neetu decided that she would no longer work at this place and left the job.
Neetu said, “The shop where I used to work, I would take my children along with me. One day the small child broke an item at the shop in the morning. The shopkeeper got very angry and he scolded me, after which his insults affected me and I immediately left that job. However, after a few days I got another job offer, but it turned out to be fake.”
A yoga teacher encouraged her to take up wrestling which would be a ticket to getting a government job. After hearing him, Neetu decided to practise wrestling.
Neetu discussed this with one of her mentors. Neetu’s second husband also supported her decision to take up wrestling as a profession.
To keep herself physically fit and to lose weight, Neetu began getting up at 3 a.m. daily to go for jogging and other physical training before the whole village woke up.
Neetu has defeated many wrestlers. She has participated in national and international level wrestling competitions, which not only made India proud but also took care of her and her children’s life. Neetu has won dozens of medals in wrestling.
According to Neetu, she has taken part in World Wrestling Championship thrice, National Games once and Senior Nationals competition five times. Apart from this, she has also participated at the junior level in many wrestling matches.
Wrestling helped Neetu to get a government job. She is working in the SSB today and is devoting time to wrestling also.
Earlier, the people of the village who taunted Neetu, today never get tired of praising her. She is greeted with respect by the people of the entire region.