A Sports Carnival featuring primitive sports was organized by the Department of Physical Education as part of the initiative under “Ek Bharath Shrestha Bharat”. The carnival was held at the New Sports Complex on 8th September 2018.

The event was open to all the students. It was not a sports competition but rather an invite to indulge in the traditional sports. Primitive or traditional sports carnival was an effort to revive the interest in the traditional sports, which are too localized to gain prominence, or which are officially not given the status of sports in the mainstream arena. It is an effort to make people realize how much of precision skills one needs to play these games. Believe me none of these sports a cakewalk.

Amazingly, the sports that were played included Gilli Danda (reminds of one’s childhood),Indian Marbles or better say Kanche Khelna, Tug of war, Thokkudu billa, Silambam, Kalaripayyatu and Bongaram.

The first event was Bongaram or playing with the Lattu .From Bongaram we went to Gilli danda, which is a game of precision. The players struggled to make a contact to hit the gulli and strike it with the danda. The next event on the list was Marbles. Kanche khelna or Marbles must have sent a lot of people into reverie of their childhood days where they would have tried to secure as many marbles as possible and show off by stacking the marbles in glass jar at their homes.

After that we moved on to Hopscotch or Langdi. Langdi as the name itself suggests, is played by jumping from one block to another on one foot most of the times. From Mr. Samsun, Physical Education Teacher at the University to students of the university, we saw many people participate and jumping with delight.

It was delightful to see tiny tots, who came up to the ground, trying their hand at gilli danda and Bongarum. What people took home back was a lesson to work on their precision skills, not by hard work, but by playing their childhood favourite sports. It made people realize the importance of traditions once again.

Dr. K.V. Rajsekhar, Director of Physical Education at the University highlighted many aspects of these traditional sports. In his own words, “Why to stress on these kind of sports. Firstly they are outdoor activities. They always bring children out of their home in a social space. Social interaction is the need of our time with so much technology often isolating people. The beautiful part about these sports is that they develop concentration, perception; observational skills. These games require lots of focus and the ability to perceive distance. Without putting in lots of physical efforts, one can become mentally sharp. The focus is on the development of PNF skills of children, by playing Bongaram or Marbles, which most see as a time pass games, one can develop precision and estimation skills which are essential in not only playing these sports, but also useful in handling tough situations life throws to us.

Some of the students who attended felt the need for more participation and encouragement from the student community.

-Zeenat Shana, Department of Communication