MLCs across party lines seek government support to promote Kambala

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MLCs across party lines seek government support to promote Kambala
 

Bengaluru: Seeking support and cooperation to further promote Coastal Karnataka’s traditional and folk sport ‘Kambala’ (Buffalo Race), leaders cutting across the party lines in the Legislative Council demanded state government intervention into the matter.

MLCs Manjunath Bhandary, BK Hariprasad, Dr K Govindaraju, SL Bhojegowda and Prathap Simha Nayak and others demanded the government to include the sport in Dasara festivities and hold ‘Kambala’ in other parts of the state as well to safeguard the tradition, which has a rich history rooted in the folklore.

Recalling the glorious past of the Kambala sport, Bhandary said, “There are written records in the form of inscriptions from ancient Indian times depicting the popularity of Kambala in Coastal Karnataka. Even today there are 200 traditional Kambala races and 20 modern Kambala races are held every year during this time of the season. Previously under then CM DV Sadananda Gowda, funds were made available to organise Kambala races. But of late the amount is just withheld at the Deputy Commissioner’s level. The government must intervene and help allocate funds to hold the races besides providing assistance for maintenance of buffalo and also to the runners.”

JD(S) leaders demanded that the Kambala race be included in the list of Dasara games. “The Government must consider introducing Kambala in Mysuru and Mandya district as the region has enough paddy fields to hold such races. At least Rs 5 lakh should be provided to each of these Kambalas.”

Congress MLC UB Venkatesh appealed to the government to get the Kambala runners insured for life. Leader of the opposition BK Hariprasad said, “It is the need of the hour to preserve and encourage holding of such folk and traditional sports. Previously, I have discussed this issue in Parliament along with Oscar Fernandes. But it is tragic that apartheid attitude has cast its dark spell on the popularity of the sport due to black buffaloes.”

Replying to the debate, Sports and Youth Empowerment minister KC Narayana Gowda said, “The government is committed to making Kambala a popular sport of the state and provide all the encouragement. We will soon hold a special meeting in this regard by inviting opposition party leaders, representatives from the Coastal Karnataka region to chalk out plans in this regard. We have already rewarded achievers with Rajyotsava awards and set-up Kambala racing tracks at Meeyar in Karkala taluk of Udupi district and Moodabidri.”


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