Kavita Devi is breaking glass ceilings and setting a new and positive example for Indian girls. Devi is the first Indian woman to sign a developmental contract with WWE.
Devi put on a strong showing during the Mae Young Classic Tournament. WWE scouts were impressed by her strength, combat skills, and how she had the fundamentals down.
Her history-making signing with WWE was announced by Jinder Mahal during his visit to New Delhi, India.
Devi, 34, is an all-around athlete. She is an accomplished powerlifter that has gold medals to prove it. In 2016 she won gold in the South Asian Games. She played Kabaddi, a contact team sport in high school. She has been trained for the ring by former WWE World Champion The Great Khali. Devi arrived at the WWE Performance Center earlier this month and has begun her training.
Devi’s signing is a huge step forward not only for Devi but for all of Indian wrestling. India is one of the WWE’s biggest markets. Devi is using her WWE tenure to inspire other Indian women to follow their dreams.
“Our society is still struggling to accept the fact that women and men are equal, but I’d like to tell all the women: Work hard to prove your talent and don’t let men stop you,” Devi said. “You will have to face difficulties. I’ve had to face my share of them, but believe in yourself and give yourself a chance for the world to believe in you.”
Devi was recently honored by the president of India for her accomplishments. Devi and 112 other women were honored as the country’s “First Ladies” at a ceremony held in New Delhi. The ceremony paid homage to the women for being “high-achieving pioneers.” The women involved in the ceremony came from various fields including business, defense, and sports.
While growing up in Malvi, Devi never liked the feeling that Indian women were forced to live in a box. She did not like to be told what to do. In India, girls are rarely allowed to be educated beyond high school. Devi believes that these restrictions should no longer be in place. She had no interest in being a housewife stuck home cooking and cleaning. She had big dreams that she was determined to follow and reach.
After graduating high school she went on to get her Bachelor’s Degree. She then joined India’s Armed Border Forces. During her time in the armed forces, she was trained in guerrilla warfare, intelligence operations, and survival skills. Also while in the armed forces she trained by weightlifting and practicing Wushu martial arts.
Devi has followed her dreams to America where she is determined to make her husband, son, and country proud. She knows that her chosen path has not been easy on her family, but she is determined to show them that their sacrifices have not been in vain.
Devi says that her goal for 2018 is to learn all she can at the performance center so she can be a champion.
“My target is to be No. 1 in women’s wrestling and to be a WWE champion,” Devi said. “I want people to say ‘an Indian woman is now the WWE champion.'”