Tendulkar to be star attraction at rural rejuvenation camp

Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar will be the star attraction at a rural sporting extravaganza, titled ‘Isha Rejuvenation Cup’ to be held here tomorrow.

The ‘master blaster’ will give away trophies and prizes in some categories of events, Swami Prabhodha, Chief coordinator, Isha Foundation, said.

The camp is part of efforts to wean away rural people from addiction to liquor and smoking and for encouraging meaningful discussions amongst them on various subjects.

Swami Prabhoda said the rejuvenation camp is also aimed at dissuading seniors from meaningless gossip mongering, that sometimes leads to petty quarrels.

Tendulkar is slated to witness the semi-finals and finals of the men’s volleyball and women’s throwball events that will be played in the evening.

Later he would give away trophy to the winners of the under-19 cricket match.

Swami Prabhodha said the annual camp had to a certain extent weaned away rural people from liquor and gambling.

“This tremendous effort to rejuvenate the rural spirit and bring a culture of celebration into people’s lives through traditional village games like Kabaddi, silambattam (fighting with stick) and ‘Valukamaram’ (Malakamba–pole climbing) has made them stress free and also enabled them overcome caste and religious divisions, he claimed.

‘Isha Gramotsavam’ (rural festival) has sports like volleyball, cricket, throwball for women and is held in 490 villages in 24 districts of Tamil Nadu, divided into eight divisions, with 648 teams participating in two phases over 45 days, he said.

Quoting villagers, he said that not only youngsters, but grandmothers and grandfathers, besides housewives, are part of the festival.

They utilise the platform to showcase unity, cutting across the rich-poor, owner-worker and agriculturist-worker divide.