Vijay Goel, the Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday that the his ministry is dedicated promotion and development of traditional sports in India.

Responding to a query regarding promotion and development of rural, indigenous and tribal games, Goel said that the Sports Authority of India had implement promotional schemes for various sports disciplines across the country. Under the revamped Khelo India proposal, there is an exclusive component called “Promotion of Rural, Indigenous and Tribal Games” for promotion and development of traditional sports.

“SAI also promotes Indigenous Games and Martial Arts (IGMA) in nine disciplines under its National Sports Talent Contest (NSTC) scheme where talented children are selected in the age group of 8-14 years in 10 SAI adopted Centres,” Goel’s statement read.

He further stated that schools and trainees under this scheme are provided sports kits, accidental insurance including medical, stipend, annual grant to the school for purchase of equipment and for organizing competitions for scouting talent. A total of Rs 45,000 is spent per head per annum, Goel informed.

In 2016-17, 159 athletes – 78 boys and 81 girls - were trained in traditional sports at 10 SAI adopted Centres, he added.

Disciplines that fall under IGMA

Kalaripayatu, Kerala

  • It is a martial art, which originated as a style in Kerala. It was originally practiced in northern and central parts of Kerala and southern parts of Tamil Nadu.

Silambam, Tamil Nadu

  • It is a weapon-based Martial Art. It originated from Tamil Nadu and is primarily played with a bamboo staff.

Kabaddi, Telengana

  • Two teams compete, each occupying its own half of the court. They take turns sending a “raider” into the opposing team’s half and earn points if the raider manages to touch opposing team members and return to the home half, all while taking only a single breath. If however the raider is tackled and prevented from returning, the opposing team gets the point. The sport is played widely in India, especially in parts of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Archery, Jharkhand

  • It is the sport of using a bow to propel arrows. Historically, archery has been used for hunting and combat, but now is seen as a recreational activity. It is a skill which was widely adopted across the world, especially in India.

Malkhamb, Maharashtra

  • It is a traditional Indian sport in which a gymnast performs aerial yoga postures and wrestling grips in concert with a vertical wooden pole. More than 20 states of India have notified Malkhamb as state sport.

Mukna, Imphal

  • It is a form of folk wrestling from the north-east Indian state of Manipur. It is popular in Imphal, Thoubal and Bishnupur. Matches begin with the competitors holding each other’s belts called ningri. The object is to pin the opponent with their back touching the ground.

Thangta, Imphal

  • Thangta is a martial art form from Manipur. Its traditional name is Huyel Langlon. The primary weapons are the thang (sword) and ta (spear).

Khomlainai, Assam

  • It is a form of Wrestling, practiced mainly by people of the Bodo community in Assam.

Gatka, Punjab

  • It is a traditional South Asian form of combat-training in which wooden sticks are used to simulate swords in sparring matches.