Who would not be familiar with the name of Aarushi Kotwal of Jammu and Kashmir today? It is such a well-known name in the sports world of the state, whose achievements and talent have been influenced by the National Children’s Award from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has virtually given Aarushi Kotwal this award.
17-year-old Aarushi Kotwal is the only player to become the state’s first woman master in chess. Aarushi has been the state champion eight times till now and has impressed everyone with her talent by participating in national and international competitions. Aarushi has also got a chance to represent India in the Commonwealth Chess Competition.
Aarushi Kotwal aspires to one day represent India in chess and become the world champion in the game of check and beat and win the title of Grand Master. Although he has not received special encouragement from the then governments of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, he is quite happy with the support extended by the family and the J&K Chess Association.
Aarushi still remembers the memorable moment when Omar Abdullah, the former Chief Minister of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, honoured her with a sum of Rs 50,000 for winning a gold medal in the Asian Chess competition.
While studying in the second grade, Aarushi started playing chess and, for the first time, the secured first position in the under-7 age group and second in the under-9 age group. Aarushi started the chess game first from her home, and then one day, after defeating all the members of the house, she is giving tough competition to the country’s players. As a result, she has proved her talent by participating in many national and international competitions so far.
Aarushi won the gold medal by participating in the Asian School Chess competition held in New Delhi. Apart from this, she has brought laurels to the state and the country by participating in the international competition held in Tashkent. In the 14th Asian School Chess Competition held in Sri Lanka in July 2018, 454 players from 16 countries participated in the boys and girls categories of four different age groups. In this, Aarushi Kotwal successfully won the silver medal by defeating her rivals in the under-17 age group of girls.
Aarushi says that a sports policy has been made in the state, but due to lack of sports earlier, she was deprived of participating in international competitions twice.