Dronacharya awardee Captain Chandroop passes away

Chandroop, who hailed from Sundana village of Rohtak district of Haryana, was admitted to a private hospital in Delhi after complaining of breathing problem. “After examining him, the doctors declared him dead,” said Ashok Dhaka, Chandroop's nephew and a coach at his Delhi-based akhara.

Captain Chandroop akhara along with Guru Hanuman akhara and Master Chandgiram akhara are the three main pillars of Indian wrestling.   -  Meeta Ahlawat

Dronacharya award winning wrestling coach Captain Chandroop passed away in Delhi on Tuesday evening. He was 87.

Chandroop, who hailed from Sundana village of Rohtak district of Haryana, was admitted to a private hospital in Delhi after complaining of breathing problem. “After examining him, the doctors declared him dead,” said Ashok Dhaka, Chandroop's nephew and a coach at his Delhi-based akhara.

Chandroop took up wrestling after joining the Indian Army in 1948. He was a former National champion who became a coach to train the Army wrestlers. There he produced Asian Games bronze medallist and former Bharat Kesari title winner Netrapal and anther prominent wrestler Vijay Kumar.

An NIS qualified coach, Chandroop, who fought the wars of 1962, 1965 and 1971, started his own akhara in Azadpur area of Delhi in 1979 and produced many international wrestlers, including several Olympians and five Arjuna award winners – Ombeer, Ashok Garg, Rohtash Dahiya, Ramesh Kumar and Dharmender Dalal.

Guru Hanuman akhara, Master Chandgiram akhara and Captain Chandroop akhara used to be the main supply lines for Indian wrestling for many years. “These three akharas (now adopted by the Sports Authority of India) are the three pillars of Indian wrestling. The Chandroop akhara rose to prominence between mid-1980s and mid-1990s. Like today's Chhatrasal Stadium, it used to dominate the National scene. Almost all members of the National side used to be from this akhara,” said Dhaka, also an international referee and judge.

Three Chandroop akhara wrestlers, Joginder Kumar (120kg freestyle silver), Sanjay Kumar (74kg Freco Roman gold) and Dharmender Dalal (120kg Greco Roman bronze), bagged medals in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. The same year Chandroop was conferred the prestigious Dronachrya award for lifetime achievement.

“The most remarkable quality of guruji was his love for discipline. Being an Armyman, he never allowed his students to take training sessions lightly and ensured 100 per cent attendance,” said Dhaka.