An authorised biography on wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat, “Akhada” by sports journalist Saurabh Duggal, will be launched a week preceding the mid-December release of Aamir Khan starrer “Dangal”, based on the life of Phogat.

“We’ve wanted to publish Mahavir’s amazing story ever since we learned of his remarkable journey and that of his daughters and nieces. Our hunt for a biographer who could do this story justice led us to literary agent Kanishka Gupta who introduced us to Saurabh Duggal, a sports journalist who lives and breathes the Olympics,” said Poulomi Chatterjee, Editor-in-Chief of Hachette India, the publisher of the biography.

“Work on ‘Akhada’ began at once. We are so proud to publish this spectacularly inspiring book that shows us what can be achieved when we refuse to be defined by narrow societal expectations and aim for the stars. This year’s Olympics has kindled a conversation on our exemplary female athletes and ‘Akhada’ lifts the veil on the story of our best women wrestlers. We hope Mahavir’s dedication to the sport he loves and his steadfast conviction in his daughters’ abilities will inspire new stories of achievement in India,” she added.

“Akhada” tells the remarkable story of a man of tremendous fortitude, of a father who fought against all odds to give his daughters a future they could not have dreamed for themselves.

“It is often a struggle to get wrestling the attention and recognition it deserves in India, particularly women’s wrestling. If my daughters’ and my story, narrated through this book and adapted by Aamir Khan in ‘Dangal’, can help wrestlers get their due, I will be extremely happy. I hope this inspires many others – both men and women – to get into this sport and make a name for themselves, as well as motivates parents to believe in their daughters,” commented Phogat.

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