CM Baghel inaugurates second edition of 'Chhattisgarhiya Olympics' more than 30L people expected to take part

    Raipur, Jul 17 (PTI) Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Monday inaugurated the second season of 'Chhattisgarhiya Olympics', an event aimed at promoting local and traditional sports of the state, an official said.
     The first 'Chhattisgarhiya Olympics' was held from October (2022) to January (2023) but the second edition is being held ahead of schedule apparently due to Assembly polls that will take place at the end of the year.
     "The CM kicked off the event on the occasion of Hareli festival at Nawagaon village panchayat in Raipur district by flagging off the 'Gedi' race. Around 30 lakh people are expected to take part in the grand sports event where there is no age limit for the participants," the official said.
     "In the previous season, more than 25 lakh people from rural areas and 1.30 lakh from urban areas had participated in various disciplines. The second edition will feature competitions in 16 traditional games in six phases. It will provide a platform for athletes to showcase their skills and compete at various levels," he added.
     The event will be held in two categories, namely team and single, with the team category including games like 'Pittul', 'Gilli Danda', 'Langdi Daud', Kabaddi, Kho-Kho, 'Rassa Kassi' (Tug of War) and Baati (Kancha), the official said.
     "The individual category includes sports like 'Billas', 'Fugdi', 'Gedi Daud', 'Bhawara', 100-metre race, long jump, jump rope and wrestling. The age categories are up to 18 years, 18-40 and 40 plus. Both male and female participants can compete in the event," he said.
     Earlier in the day, an event to mark 'Hareli', a popular festival held in the month of 'Shravan' (as per Hindu calendar) during which people worship farm equipment and cows to mark the onset of farming activities, was held at the CM's official residence.
     Senior journalist and political analyst R Krishna Das said Baghel was working to promote regional pride since the Congress came to power in 2018 and Chhattisgarhiya Olympics is a move in the same direction as traditional sports are linked to state's cultural and regional identity.
     Organising it ahead of Assembly polls is likely to help the government to connect to voters, he said.

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)