2,700 tribals to take part in sports fest

December 16th, 2011 - 9:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Pune, Dec 16 (IANS) More than 2,700 participants from India, Nepal and Bhutan will participate in the VIth National Sports Festival for Tribals starting here December 27.

Christened Ekalavya Khelkood-2011, the main competitions will include track and field events, archery, marathon and football, said Akhil Bharatiya Vanwasi Kalyan Ashram President Pandurang Bhandakkar.

The six-day festival, which is estimated to cost around Rs.10 million, will also be participated in by 900 tribal girls.

“This is the sixth festival since 1988 when we launched it in Mumbai with only 360 participants from 16 Indian states. Today, we have attracted international tribal participants and we are hopeful of higher participation from other countries in 2014,” Bhandakkar told IANS.

A colourful procession, comprising 25,000 tribals from the state, will taken out by in the city, December 29.

“Officials from top sports bodies, the armed forces and corporate also come here to spot tribal talent in different fields and pick them up for further grooming,” Bhandakkar added.

The event will be inaugurated by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat with sportsman Jaspal Rana as the chief guest. Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Karia Munda will be the chief guest, according to Bhandakkar.

The festival in the past has been held in Indore (1991), Udaipur (1995), Ranchi (2000), and Amravati (2007).

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