NEW DELHI: The Sports Ministry has approved the inclusion of four Indigenous Games to be a part of Khelo India Youth Games 2021, scheduled to take place in Haryana. The games include Gatka, Kalaripayattu, Thang-Ta, and Mallakhamba.
In a bid to promote the rural or tribal Indigenous Games in a wide manner, these 4 games has been added to any Khelo India competition for the first-time ever and these four games will join Yogasana as a debut sports discipline at the Youth Games next year. The games will be broadcast on Star Sports.
Speaking about the decision, Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju said, “India has a rich heritage of indigenous sports, and it is a priority for the Sports Ministry to preserve, promote and popularise these games. There is no better platform than the Khelo India Games where athletes of these games can compete. The games have huge popularity and is telecast across the country by Star Sports, so I am confident that in the 2021 Khelo India Youth Games these four disciplines, along with Yogasana, will get their much-deserved attention among sports enthusiasts and youth of the country. In the coming years, we will be able to add more indigenous sports at the Khelo Games.”
Gatka originates from the State of Punjab and this traditional fighting style being used both as self-defense as well as a sport. It is synonymous with rotating bo staffs, swords, wooden sticks, leather shields and other sharp-edged weapons. This martial art helps you learn the art of discipline, focus and gives an enormous amount of self-confidence.
“We are glad to know that the Sports Ministry has included Indian ancient martial art Gatka in the Khelo India Youth Games. We are sure that this effort of Khelo India will certainly help to promote and revive a forgotten Indian traditional martial art having a historical significance. In addition this step will give boost to the efforts of the National Gatka Association of India in furtherance of creating awareness in the country as well as overseas,” said Harjeet Singh Grewal, President, National Gatka Association of India.
Mentioning about the various benefits of Gatka, Gerwal adds, “Gatka occupies a very important place in annals of sports for it being the best in terms of self-defense especially for women. This game promotes physical fitness and positive social interaction in a courteous and fun atmosphere besides it develops very great character-forming values.”