Lucknow, Apr 12 (PTI) Traditional Indian sports like archery, kabaddi, kho-kho and wrestling and are going to get a leg up in Uttar Pradesh as the Yogi Adityanath government has decided to take the ‘Swadeshi’ push to the sporting arena.
Former test cricketer Chetan Chauhan, who is now the Sports minister of Uttar Pradesh said that to promote fitness and skill among the youth, the state government has decided to focus on reviving traditional and local sports.
“I want to focus on sports like kabbadi, kho-kho, wrestling, archery and shot put which are not getting enough attention and promote them in a big way,” Chauhan told PTI.
Unlike the other games, these sports do not require a lot of investment but are in no way less in terms of improving fitness and skill levels, he said.
Tournaments of these sports can be easily organised even in rural areas without much investment, he said.
Chauhan, who is also president of an organisation ‘Kreeda Bharti’, set up in 1992 to promote ‘swadeshi’ (indigenous) games traditionally played in rural areas.
He said that the Adityanath government would support them so that they can be revived and made popular among the present generation.
For tapping and nurturing talent, especially from among the rural areas, directives have been issued to Sports department officials to organise open tournaments in these games.
Chauhan, who has played 40 Tests as an opening partner to legendary Sunil Gavaskar and seven one-dayers, said there was no aversion to sports like cricket which has dominated the sporting scene of the country since for several decades.
“We are not against cricket….the aim is just to promote traditional Indian games and make them popular among the youth,” Chauhan said.
Kreeda Bharti had been promoting games like kho-kho, kabaddi, lazium and malkhambh, a form of marshal arts that originated in India, he said.
Some of these games are not even played any more and the idea is to revive these traditional games, he said.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.