RAJASTHAN: Priya Singh, who was married off when she was eight years old, walked away from the child marriage and entered the bodybuilding ring. She is now Rajasthan’s first female bodybuilder. She has three Miss Rajasthan titles and numerous foreign accolades.
Priya has now made her country proud by winning a gold medal at the Thailand bodybuilding championship. The 39th World Bodybuilding Championships were held in December in Bangkok. The event was organised by the Natural Bodybuilding Union International.
Priya Singh is the first bodybuilder from Rajasthan to take part in the World Bodybuilding Championship. Priya took part in an international event for the first time and won the gold medal, which made her country look better.
Priya has been interested in sports since she was a child. She wanted to build a name for herself in sports, but it was difficult owing to her family’s financial situation. She was born into a poor household in Bikaner and has five siblings. Her father, Mohanlal, was a Forest Department driver. Because no one allowed their daughters to study back then, Priya only completed the fifth grade.
Despite her forced marriage, she pursued her education at Kota Open School and graduated. Priya began working in a gym in Jaipur in 2015 to support her family. Because she was the only woman working there, the male trainers began to rebel. Priya injured her hand as a result of her heavy weight, but she did not give up and continued to work at the gym. With her hard work, she eventually became a personal trainer.
She chose to visit the national capital after hearing about a bodybuilding competition in Delhi from her acquaintance Shravan Kumar Soni. She chose to become a bodybuilder after seeing the competition. “I saw my first female bodybuilder as she stood in a two-piece outfit. There were no negative comments from the audience. Then I discovered that no lady from Rajasthan had ever participated in bodybuilding. I choose to represent the state,” Priya explained.
In her village, her decision was considered blasphemy. Her brother warned that he would “murder her” and her parents informed her she was “dead to them”. She had left her home. Priya’s trainers reluctantly consented to train her. They were certain that Priya would abandon the training. She was given a three-month diet and exercise plan. Priya began working hard on her training when her trainer saw that she was dedicated and performed well.
Bodybuilding is an extremely expensive sport, with preparation costs exceeding Rs 50,000 each month. Her trainer assisted Priya monetarily, and thus a five-hour long drill began. “In the All India Ms India pageant in Chennai, I finished in the top 20 out of 100. Rajasthan is no longer behind in women’s bodybuilding; I am IBBF-accredited and the state’s only athlete in the discipline,” she says.
Priya won the Ms Rajasthan Bodybuilder title three times in a row starting in 2018. Apart from that, Priya has represented Rajasthan in an event in Gujarat attended by 150 countries. Priya earned the World Women Leadership Award for the Corona period in 2021online and 2022 in Mumbai. She was also honoured with the World Women Leadership Award in March of this year at the Taj Hotel in Mumbai for attempting to influence societal perceptions by emerging from challenging situations.
Priya said her goal is to first win an all-India prize and then compete in an international competition. “I want to represent India in an international bodybuilding tournament. I’m prepared for it and will not give up bodybuilding till then.” “My father now receives calls from a variety of people asking when his daughter will visit their city. I was overjoyed when I returned home after five years. “At long last, my family recognised my hard work and brilliance,” Priya adds.