Tata Steel Upholds Tribal Sports heritage of Jharkhand, Odisha & Chhattisgarh


INDIACSR News Network

JAMSHEDPUR: Set up in 1993, Tata Steel’s Tribal Cultural Society (TCS) has been working to promote ethnic identity and tribal heritage in Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh. In its strive to promote traditional sports, TCS has been implementing various sporting and cultural events to popularize tribal culture amongst youth and general masses.

As another step towards this direction, a two-day Sekkor tournament which begun today has been organised at Gitilader, Tantnagar Block Maidan, Chaibasa.  It is one of the traditional tribal games being promoted by TCS by encouraging youth to participate in a tournament. Sekkor is a game played by the Ho tribe. According to the “ho” mythology, this ancient game was first played between two early men and Devils and eventually the early men won. Traditionally, this game is played during summer season to prevent drought and bring rain.

“We focus on three important issues: education, improvement of livelihood opportunities and the preservation of the ethnic identity of the tribal community .This game of the “ho” tribe is losing its significance amongst the tribal and with passage of time it is becoming less known to the people. We have taken steps to promote this ethnic game” said Ms Urmila Ekka, Hony Secretary, Tribal Cultural Society, Tata Steel.

About 40 tribal teams are expected to participate in the upcoming matches. The League matches were played today while the finals will be played tomorrow. “Thank you Tata Steel and Tribal Cultural Society.  It is a great platform to showcase our sporting talent and promote our tribal sport” said, Bir Singh Biruly, a participant.

Mr Biren Bhuta, Chief, Corporate Sustainability Services, Tata Steel, said, “In keeping with our philosophy of improving the quality of life of the communities we serve, Tata Steel always has, and shall continue to support, nurture and promote sporting talent in the country, especially the one from tribal communities. Reviving tribal sports is one of the key areas of intervention for Tribal Cultural Society (TCS)”.

Earlier, Chief Guest Mr Sanjay Kumar Kongari, Block Development Officer, Tantnagar had inaugurated the programme. The closing ceremony for the same has been scheduled for tomorrow after the finals.

 TCS and Sports
The society evolved from a pure company department for Adivasi affairs in 1974, to a Tribal and Harijan Welfare Cell in 1984. In 1993, it assumed its present form as a non-profit organisation, equipped with the expertise and financial resources to make a difference in the lives of marginalised tribal communities.

The Tribal Cultural Society (TCS) promoted by Tata Steel has been working for the preservation of the rich tribal heritage and culture of the indigenous people in the state of Jharkhand. The tribals have a strong physical built that makes them a natural sportsperson.  Many tribal have been successful in establishing themselves in sports and athletics in the past. Jaipal Singh Munda was the captain of Indian Olympic Team in 1928 that won the first Gold Medal for the country in Hockey. Silveneus Dung Dung, Michael Kindo, Manohar Topno, Vimal Lakra etc. have played Hockey for India at Olympics, World Cup, Asian Games or the Asia Cup. There have been several other brilliant sportspersons and athletes from the tribes of Jharkhand.

In additional to Sekkor few other traditional tribal games being revived by the Tribal Cultural Society include Kati, Bahu-Chor and Chhur.

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