Sport of Khomlainai Wrestling helps Assam girls earn money, get fit and strong

ANI | Updated: Nov 05, 2022 9:32 PM IST

Udalguri (Assam) [India]Nov. 5 (ANI): Indira Daimary cycles for an hour every morning to attend khomlainai, a traditional form of Bodo wrestling, at the Dao Hari Coaching Center in Udalguri. According to an article by Sayantani Deb on Feminism in India, this sport is not just a sport or passion for Daimary as it helps her put food on the table. This sport has helped several girls in Assam’s Bodoland to live decent lives. Raised in a lower-middle-class family in the village of Sarubhengra in Udalguri, Daimary always wanted to support her parents. “As the eldest daughter of day laborers, I have known poverty all my life. Managing everything from food to clothing to education was difficult for my parents,” said Daimary, now in her 20s,” said Daimary about the sport at a social gathering in 2016, Daimary entered the professional arena by the following year and never looked back from there. This sport has not only helped her keep fit but also brings home money after winning championships. “I couldn’t finish my studies due to financial constraints, but at least I want to fulfill the ambitions of my three sisters. One of them wants to nurse and work in a reputable hospital, so I plan to send her to Hyderabad for further studies,” says Daimary. She is the only earning member of her family and has renovated the house with her earnings. Sangita Kisko from Garubhasha village in Chirang, the sport surprised her when she least expected it, saying: “I started learning Khomlainai around the age of 10. Everything was going well until my father, a government servant, decided to live separately. My mother couldn’t make ends meet on her meager salary as an ASHA employee.’ ‘I was studying at a private English secondary school at the time, which charged a fair amount for admission. For class 10, which requires a new admission procedure, I decided not to go there because my mother couldn’t afford the fees. “This was when she entered a khomlainai competition and unexpectedly won, receiving Rs 5,000 as a cash prize. “It helped me get admission into the same school,” she said. “Khomlainai is everything to me. It has shown the way and given me the confidence to continue with both the sport and the studies that defy all adversities,” she added. The sport shows the rich culture, traditions of the Bodo people, who have been around for a few centuries. ago lived in the jungle where it developed as a self-defense mechanism to protect itself from wild animals.As with Kushti, khomlainai participants are identified based on aranai (traditional Bodo scarf around the waist), which is green or red. player wearing green scarves becomes ‘matha’ while the red wearing player is ‘agor’ All the words used in the game belong to Bodo language such as khulum Sewa (salute), juri (start), aobha (stop ), sangrang (ready), su-bijitgiri (referee), bijitgiri (judge), khomlaigra (wrestler/player) and derhasa (winner).During the Bhaokhungri festival, which is organized every April in Kokrajhar, a grand competition is of the sport to keep. the sport around the world and I essen the gap between communities in the Bodo region.

Even Nepalese, Gorkhali, Rajbonshi Bengali, Bihari and Assamese have taken up the sport, which is a way to promote harmony. Guno Shankar, the secretary general of the All Assam Khomlainai Association, said: “The Sports and Youth Welfare Department of the BTR government grants Rs 10 lakh annually to popularize khomlainai along with other indigenous games. Currently, the association is organizing an open khomlainai championship ( where anyone can participate regardless of age. However, it is necessary to organize sub-junior, junior and senior (both men and women) championships on a large scale. We need more financial support for that.” organization of seminars, training for coaches, judges and referees has become a problem. “A substantial increase in subsidies is the need of the hour. The Assam government should support us financially,” he said. “Fortunately, we have a handful of benefactors from all walks of life. society (businessmen, local leaders, intellectuals, sports enthusiasts and NGOs), sponsoring players’ uniforms or the cost of refreshments ing, accommodation and transport. The villagers who cannot support us financially donate rice, vegetables, fruits and eggs from their farms,” ​​he added. According to a coach named Mijing Narzary at the Kokrajhar center of Sports Authority of India (SAI), three winners will receive from the inter-district championship respectively Rs 20,000, 10,000 and 5,000. An open match earns them Rs 70,000, 60,000 and 50,000 respectively. Match judges earn Rs 2,000-3,000 a day. In addition, Bodoland Territorial Areas Districts (BTAD) khomlainai training centers are mushrooming in districts like Goalpara, Sonitpur and Karbi-Anglong. They are cooking,” he said. There are 20 registered training centers, three of which are residential, where girls, boys, aged 7-25, receive an education, he said. The sport had a huge breakthrough in 2013 when it was included as part of SAI’s Indigenous Games and Martial Arts (IGMA) Scheme. Archery, kabaddi, kalaripayattu, mukna, thang-ta, silambam, malkhamb and gatka were some other disciplines that were part of the program. “The recognition changed the way people saw khomlainai. Initially, the HCI selected 10 boys and 10 girls below at the age of 14, providing them with coaching, shoes, uniforms and an annual scholarship of Rs 6,000. This sparked interest in more and more children Narzary said. “If the government of India organizes khomlainai matches at the national level, a day will come when these players can join paramilitary forces, police and military,” Narzary said. He believes that all women, regardless of age, should learn the sport for self-defense. Everyone associated with the game in one way or another wants a stadium to be built in Assam, as female players think there is still room for improvement. floors and toilets. In addition, we need an official female coach to attract more girls to the sport,” said Nigita Narzary, an experienced khomlainai player and coach. game among the youth.” Also, Guno Shankar has a dream that the sport will one day gain recognition from the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and be played worldwide. (ANI)

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