Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Mr. Virbhadra Singh who was presiding over the closing ceremony of ‘Bishu’ festival celebrated after hundred years at Sainj in Theog area of Shimla district today said that ‘Thoda’ was an ancient game of Himachal Pradesh and needs to be promoted in a big way. Announcing Rs. 15 thousand each to the participating Thoda teams, the Chief Minister said that competitions should be organized to promote the game adding that the Sports department would be directed to organize the competition of Thoda teams at district level and to include them in the annual sports calendar.
Thoda, an impressive folk dance form of Himachal Pradesh, relies on one’s archery prowess, dating back to the days of the Mahabharata, when bows and arrows were used in battles, said the Chief Minister. He said that fairs and festivals play an important role in promoting our culture and customs and it was the duty of all of us to preserve them at all cost and make the future generation aware of it. “Our identity resides in our traditions, the language we speak, the costumes we wear and we should be proud of being called ‘Paharis’”, said the Chief Minister.
After obtaining education and placement in big towns and cities, we should never be ashamed of speaking our language, to showcase our traditions and culture and we should promote them to let the world know the rich customs, he said. The Chief Minister said that apart from preserving the culture and traditions, we should also conserve our temples. The deities we worship were an integral part of our lives and our daily chores were associated with them, he said.
Speaking about the education, he said that recently Himachal Pradesh was adjudged and awarded for being the best and the first amongst big states in the field of education and inclusive development. This shows the strides the State had made in the field of education by ensuring basic and higher quality education to every child of the State.