The Telegraph
Saturday , February 15 , 2014
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Fest to revive rural sports

Guwahati, Feb. 14: The Assam Traditional Sports and Dragon Boat Association today kicked off its Amaar Khel-Amaar Usav, a carnival of indigenous sports, culture and rural tourism, at Uzan Bazar Jahaj Ghat here.

The association is organising the three-day fest with an aim to revive traditional sports in Assam. “We have organised the carnival considering the importance of these sports in our society, most of which have been forgotten. We want to take traditional sports and culture in the right direction. This will primarily be a rural tourism event,” said Taher Ahmed, president of the association.

The carnival will feature traditional boat racing, bamboo raft race, dhop khel, tang-guti khel, kori khel (game of shells), egg fights, blindfolded earthen urn breaking for women, among many others. The organisers have also made arrangements for cultural programmes by various communities in the evening.

Asked whether the Brahmaputra Beach Festival has been re-christened Amaar Khel-Amaar Usav, Ahmed said: “Our fest only involves indigenous sports. We have also taken care of the safety of participants with National Disaster Response Force teams present to avoid any mishap.”

“The participants for the traditional boat race are mostly daily wagers and usually take part on behalf of the boat owners. Most of them are from places like Mukalmua, Hajo, Chaygaon and Kukurmara. We started with the traditional boat race for seniors today while the inter-school event is scheduled for tomorrow with the finals on Sunday,” he said.

Regarding the safety of schoolchildren, another organiser Pranab Saikia said: “The children are quite acquainted with boat racing but we have ensured life jackets for all. Mass yoga sessions will also be conducted every morning.”