!!! Uma Neelkanth Vyayamshaala !!!
Youth plays an important role in the nation building; stronger the youth, stronger the nation becomes. To nurture the awareness and importance of physical fitness, it was required to build an Aakhada or Vyayamshaala (gymnasium) at the earliest. The founder members of the Hitawardhini Sabha realized the need for the same and purchased a nearby plot from "Dwarkadas Ratansi Lohane Thakkar" and started the Aakhada. Lord Hanumaan is believed to be the god of power and strength! The excavated idol of Lord Hanumaan found during the foundation work at Sadashivrao Gogate’s house, one of the founder members, was established near the Aakhada.
It was still a temporary arrangement for the Aakhada and the temple and both needed a permanent accommodation at the earliest. This required substantial funds and the same were provided by a renowned personality "Late Shri. Neelkanth Thakur". His donation of Rs. 1500/- was quite significant then. Shri. Thakur wished that the ensuing building be named after him and his wife; and hence it came into being as "Uma-Neelkanth Vyayamshaala".
In the beginning, the Aakhada was much used by wrestlers. During the years 1939 – 1951 Shri. Gana Datar and Shri. Vasudeorao a.k.a Vaasu Phadake were the regular members of the gymnasium. They also used to guide the other members of the gym. During that time, Late Shri. R. K. Laghate, nephew of the renowned body builder Shri. Talvalkar had moved to Thane. Shri. Laghate was a body builder and a fitness expert himself. He was contacted for his guidance and immense experience in the field of body building. He too agreed to train the students. Shri. Laghate’s immense contribution is certainly noteworthy in shaping of the old Vyayamshaala and the modern gymnasium.
So far, many body building competitions have been organized by the Hitawardhini Sabha. The famous ”Umashri” competition is one such event that has shaped many renowned body builders who later bagged prizes and awards in various other competitions. Although the old Aakhada no longer exists, the new gymnasium is well equipped with modern and cutting edge fitness training gadgets and equally qualified trainers.