MLCs of all parties call for government support to promote Kambala

MLCs of all parties call for government support to promote Kambala

Bengaluru: Seeking support and cooperation to further promote coastal Karnataka’s traditional and folk sport, ‘Kambala’ (buffalo racing), leaders in the Legislative Council demanded the intervention of the state government in this affair.

MLCs Manjunath Bhandary, BK Hariprasad, Dr K Govindaraju, SL Bhojegowda and Prathap Simha Nayak and others have called on the government to include sports in the Dasara festivities and organize ‘Kambala’ in other parts of the State also to safeguard the tradition, which has a rich history rooted in folklore.

Recalling the glorious past of the Kambala sport, Bhandary said, “There are written records in the form of ancient Indian era inscriptions illustrating 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 CM DV Sadananda Gowda, funds were made available to organize Kambala races. But lately, the amount is simply withheld at the deputy commissioner level. The government must step in and help allocate funds to organize the races in addition to providing support for the upkeep of the buffaloes and also for the runners.

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

The MLC Congress UB Venkatesh appealed to the government to ensure Kambala runners are insured for life. Opposition Leader BK Hariprasad said, “It is the need of the hour to preserve and encourage the performance of these folk and traditional sports. Previously, I discussed this issue in Parliament with Oscar Fernandes. But it is tragic that the attitude of apartheid cast a dark spell over the sport’s popularity due to black buffaloes.

Responding to the debate, Minister of Sports and Youth Empowerment, KC Narayana Gowda said, “Government is committed to making Kambala a popular state sport and providing all encouragement. We will soon hold a special meeting in this regard inviting opposition party leaders, representatives from the coastal region of Karnataka to make plans in this regard. We have already rewarded the winners with Rajyotsava awards and set up running tracks from Kambala to Meeyar in Karkala taluk of Udupi and Moodabidri district.

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