Archery in Meghalaya is about winning the jackpot than hitting the bull’’s eye

January 31st, 2009 - 6:16 pm ICT by ANI  

By D. Henpilen
New Delhi, Jan 31 (ANI): Archery in Shillong, Meghalaya, has become a gambling tool more than a sport.
Jackpot archery in Shillong requires 3000 arrows to win. Many farmers and shopkeepers shoot around 50 or 100 arrows, taking away an additional income of 100 to 200 rupees daily.
Gambling is legal in Meghalaya. It is traditionally called ”Teer” (arrow) game, which makes archery popular among the locals.
This archery game is a famous form of gambling in the state. I am involved in this business since 1991. This game is held daily over here for two hours. In this game sometimes one gets lucky and wins a lot, while the very next day he can lose everything, said Wasly, a bookie.
The first round of the game consists up of four minutes. During this a bamboo-strip cylinder is fixed on a bamboo pole. The rule requires the archers to land a maximum of 1,800 arrows on the target.
The second round, of three minutes, entails 1,200 arrows, each two feet long and made of pencil-thin bamboo reeds with kite feathers as stabilizing vanes. The last two digits of the number of successful arrows counted after each round are the winning figures.
Archery is my hobby; I have been coming here for a very long time. Today I have betted for rupees 50. I don”t come here on regular basis, I just come here to pass my time, said P T Laichow, an archer.
As traditional sport of Meghalaya, Archery has given great sportsperson to the state like Sheikborlang Lyngdoh, Bansara Dhar, Naomi Laloo and Christine. However, through gambling, archery is also becoming a source of livelihood for many people. (ANI)

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