India has a rich history in cultural and sports activities. Sports have been integral part of India sub-continent right from the days of Vedas. While the new sports and events have taken centre stage on account of globalization, rural sports in India still very popular because of strong cultural significance.
The rural population of India, comprising about 70 per cent of the country’s total population with a higher level of physical fitness, physiological and morphological status with respect to the others, is a pillar of strength in the Country’s sports arena. To tap hidden talents for participation, government of India has taken several steps to promote rural sports. Rural Sports Program was launched in India in the year 1970-71 with a view to broad base games and sports and to tap the hidden talents in the rural areas. There are several regional and national programs in India now promoting rural festivals, majority of them are still being driven regionally.
The North-east Sports Festival (NSF) scheme was launched in the year 1986-87 to broad-base games and sports in the North-eastern states and to tap the hidden talents in the area. The states covered under the scheme are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. Under the component, North East sports festival is organized involving sports persons from the North-East states every year. The sports disciplines which are very popular in the region are included in the festival.
Popular Rural Sports Festivals In India:
- Kila Raipur Rural Sports
- Kalgidhar Tournament of Kamalpur
- Dhudike’s Lala Lajpat Rai Memorial Sports Fair
- North East Sports Festival
- Vijay Memorial – Rural Telangana Sports
- Amaar Khel-Amaar Usav
- Purewal Khed Mela
- Suori tribal festival in Boko
- Camel festival in Bikaner
- Hampi Utsav
Popular Rural Games In India:
- Bullock Cart Race
- Kai Kuthu Sandai or Gusthi
- Uriyadi (smashing the pot)
- Rasa Kashi (Tug of War)
- Martial Art
- Kite Flying (Patang Bazi)
- Guli Danda (Lippa)
- Kidi Kada or Stapoo