Kila Raipur sports festival concludes

Despite a ban on bullock cart races at the Kila Raipur Games, these seemed all-pervasive with visitors and sportspersons discussing the issue even as other sports events were being played out.

Minna Zutshi

Tribune Newsservice

Ludhiana (Kila Raipur), February 1

Despite a ban on bullock cart races at the Kila Raipur Games, these seemed all-pervasive with visitors and sportspersons discussing the issue even as other sports events were being played out.

With the ban on the bullock cart races, the usual excitement peppered with the thrill of the unexpected (as is invariably seen in the unpredictable results of the bullock cart races) has gone, said an octogenarian. Surjit Singh from Sihar village said: “The adventure is missing. This time there have been fewer spectators.

“The bullock cart races had an irresistible pull. The young and the old from far-off villages would throng the place.”

He said the horse race, that has been introduced this year, was interesting. But it could not replace the excitement generated by the bullock cart races.

Surjit Singh, who owns a mule, would participate in horse races at various festivals in the state. He said he now preferred to be just a spectator.

“Perhaps, a strict regulatory mechanism on bullock cart races would have helped. This would have ensured that no cruelty is meted out to these helpless animals,” he added.

Another farmer Gurwant Singh from Lohgarh village said the bullock cart races had their own thrill. “We hope these will be back,” he remarked without elaborating further.

There was a bit of a drama on the concluding day of the rural games today with a farmer getting his bullocks to the venue, demanding that the ban on bullock cart races be lifted. “Bullock cart races are our (farmers’) passion,” he claimed.

Echoing similar sentiments, Iqbal Singh said the farmers spent a fortune on rearing bullocks.

“Banning the bullock cart races is a big disappointment for us,” he said, hoping that the organisers would find a way out.

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