By: Swadesh Katoch
So finally today we are out of the Cricket World Cup. For the last 3 – 4 months, all Indian news channels were showing only cricket. They were showing people in all parts of country doing Yagnas for the the Indian cricket team’s success. Reporters were showing one-hour program on Yuvraj’s mom packing her son’s bag and a special interview of a cook who was about to cook Biryani for Saurav Ganguly.
Last time, when I was in Palampur, I was surprised to see people watching baseball and American football. I saw NBA tournament live on ESPN when I was in Chandigarh. I don’t know how many of these people understand these games. When we were children, we used to play Gulli Danda and Piththu Garam and girls used to play Stapu. Are those games are still being played in villages?
All of you will agree with me that we should start thinking on games other than cricket. Don’t you think we should do something different? We should invest some of our time and money in other games too.
When cricketers get money in crores, Hockey players get around $25 for their international match. I have not read anything about the money that our Kabbadi and Kho-Kho players make.
Now, the question is what can we do? And how?
My native village (Thural) is on Palampur – Sujanpur Road in Distt. Kangra. Six/seven village Panchayats have formed a village committee and they organise Chhinze (Kushti) tournament in the month of April every year. Chhinze (Kushti) is a Pahari name for wrestling. These Panchayat members collect Rs 50 – Rs 100 from each house as a prize money for the wrestlers. They manage to collect about Rs 20,000 – Rs 30, 000 from these 6-7 villages. The winner of each match gets around Rs 400-Rs 500 and the loser gets about Rs 200-Rs 300.
Last time, when I visited my village, I talked to one of these organisers and tried to motivate them to include Kabbadi and Kho-Kho in this wrestling tournament. I have talked to a couple of my friends in USA to donate $40-50 each for the prize money of these two games. The idea is to give Rs 5,100 to the winner of each game.
Please let me know your thoughts on this idea and also let me know how we can help organise this tournament as individuals and as a group. If the organisers agree, my idea is to include Hockey, Gulli Danda and Stapu too in this tournament. But this is not possible without volunteers and money.