Babita Kumari Phogat is an Indian freestyle wrestler-turned-politician. She came into the spotlight after she won a Silver medal at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games. She is one of the most accomplished female wrestlers’ in the history of India.
Babita Kumari was born on Monday, 20 November 1989 (age 29 years; as in 2018) in Bhiwani, Haryana. Her zodiac sign is Scorpio. After completing her schooling, Babita enrolled herself in MDU, Rohtak to pursue her further education. Her father wanted her daughters to be wrestlers and started training Babita, along with her elder sister Geeta, from a very young age. Babita often visited Akharas in her neighbouring villages along with her father and sister and mostly had to wrestle with boys; as making a career in wrestling is still considered a taboo for women in India. After receiving the village training, Babita attended the National Sports Academy in Patiala.
Height: 5’ 3½”
Weight (approx.): 55 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Family, Caste & Boyfriend
Babita Kumari Phogat belongs to a Hindu Jat Family. Her father, Mahavir Singh Phogat, is a wrestler. Her mother’s name is Shobha Kaur. She has a brother, Dushyant Phogat and three sisters, Geeta Phogat, Sangita Phogat, and Ritu Phogat. All her sisters are wrestlers.
Babita got married to the wrestler Vivek Suhag on 1 December 2019 at her ancestral village Balali in Haryana.
Babita started her wrestling career in 2009 with the Commonwealth Wrestling Championship, where she won the Gold medal in the women’s freestyle 51 kg category. However, she shot to fame after securing a Silver medal at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games. In the 2012 World Championship, Babita became the second female wrestler (first being her sister Geeta Phogat) from India to win a medal at the event. Both of them won Bronze medals.
In 2014, she went on to win a Gold at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Subsequently, she qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics; becoming the fourth female wrestler from the country to qualify for the Olympics. However, she was defeated in the first round itself.
After a disappointing performance at Rio Olympics, Phogat secured a Silver medal in women’s 55kg freestyle wrestling at 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.
In 2019, Babita participated in the dance reality show “Nach Baliye 9” with her boyfriend, Vivek Suhag.
Earlier, a supporter of the Indian National Lok Dal, Babita joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) along with her father Mahavir Phogat on 12 August 2019.
She contested the 2019 Haryana Assembly Elections from the Dadri Constituency but lost.
In May 2018, Babita Phogat, along with her sisters Geeta, Ritu, and Sangeeta, was expelled from the Lucknow’s National Camp because of their unexplained absence from the camp. WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh told in an interview that “The wrestlers selected for the National camp are expected to physically report to the camp within three days. If they have any problems or issues they should go there and report it to the coaches and find a solution. But Geeta, Babita and others (in all 13) did not do that. They were incommunicado. This is serious indiscipline on their part and the WFI felt it’s time to pull the plug. So we have told them to sit at home and enjoy.”
- Gold at Jalandhar Commonwealth Wrestling Championships in 51 kg category (2009)
- Silver at Delhi Commonwealth Games in women’s freestyle wrestling in 51 kg category (2010)
- Gold at Melbourne Commonwealth Wrestling Championships in 48 kg category (2011)
- Bronze at Strathcona County World Wrestling Championships in 51 kg category (2012)
- Bronze at Delhi Asian Wrestling Championship in 55 kg category (2013)
- Gold at Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 55 kg category (2014)
- Silver at Goldcoast Commonwealth Games in 55 kg category (2018)
- Food: Churma
- Cricketer: Virat Kohli
- Her hobbies include listening to music, travelling, and cooking.
- Babita follows a non-vegetarian diet.
- Phogat with her exceptional performances at the international level has become one of the top Indian female wrestlers in the 53-55 kg category.
- Babita, along with her sister Geeta Phogat and cousin Vinesh Phogat, has brought a major change in the mindsets of the people of her region, which was earlier known for female feticide and honour killing.
- A book, which is based on the life of the Phogats, reveals that Babita’s parents wanted a son before Babita and her sister, Geeta were born. Her father wanted to train his son in wrestling and make him a world-class wrestler. However, after giving birth to two daughters, her father broke the stereotype and started training them the basics of wrestling in his village.
- The Phogat Sisters told during an interview that they were ordered to keep their hairs short and wear no makeup by their father; as he wanted them to focus only on their training.
- A Bollywood film, Dangal (2016) was made on the life of Mahavir Singh Phogat and Babita’s journey towards success along-with her sister, Geeta. The film became a blockbuster soon after its release on 23 December 2016 and earned Geeta and Babita wide popularity in India. The actress, Sanya Malhotra, played the role of the grown-up Babita in the film while her younger self was portrayed by Suhani Bhatnagar.
- The Phogat Sisters revealed in an interview that their father, Mahavir Singh Phogat, was much stricter in getting them trained than what had been depicted in the movie. They told that he had made such a stringent training schedule that sometimes Phogat sisters played some tricks like stealing the batteries from his torch that he used to keep a watch on them and re-setting the alarm clock just to get some relaxation time for themselves.
- Babita had gone through a hand operation and was released from the hospital just 4 days prior to the trials of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, in which she bagged a Silver medal.
- After winning a silver at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the Haryana Government, in 2013, offered her the post of Sub Inspector (SI) in the Haryana Police.
- PM Narendra Modi has praised Babita many times for her achievements.
- She is very particular about her fitness and follows a strict workout routine.
- In an interview, Babita revealed that the conditions for females in her village were so worse that the women including her mother, had been carrying a Ghunghat or veil, for a long time. As the Phogat sisters became popular, they asked their mother to drop the veil to which she cautiously agreed but no other female in their region still has the courage to do so.
- In 2015, Babita Kumari Phogat was honoured with the Arjuna Award for her achievements in sports.
- She is often seen campaigning for the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) on her social media accounts.
- Babita is very fond of animals.
- In 2019, Babita filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court to promote her as deputy superintendent of police (DSP) in the Haryana Police under sports quota. She cited the case of her sister, Geeta Phogat, who was appointed as the DSP in the Haryana Police in 2016. However, her petition was dismissed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Tribune