A unique training to youth to drive buffaloes

Youths engaged in tying the rope and getting ready for kambala. DH photos/Sukumar Muniyal

Realising the fact that the one who runs with the buffaloes for the Kambala race are less in number, Kambala Samrakshana Nirvahane mathu Tarabethi Academy at Shirlalu decided to train those youth who are interested in Kambala at Shirlalu Narasinga Rao Memorial PU College maidan. As many as 55 youth from Kasargod to Baindur were given a complete training in Kambala race from bathing buffalo to tying the wooden plank for the race, they were given training in every minute details.

Speaking to City Herald, Academy Convenor Gunapala Kadamba said the training for the youth is a historic training as it was organised for the first time in the history of undivided Dakshina Kannada. After a set of rules and regulation was formulated for the Kambala under the leadership of Veerendra Heggade in 1989, Kambala is being organised in an organised manner. With the increase in the popularity of Kambala and the number of Kambala, flood light system, video finishing system were introduced. Though Kambala had to be completed within 24 hours, there were not enough people who will run with the buffaloes for the race. The training was organised with the support of the Kambala lovers.”

He said “the training has given a new direction to the folk game Kambala. Though the organisers had received several applications, the physical directors selected 60 youths after physical fitness test. Of the 60 selected youths, 55 participated in the training.
These youths had only interest in Kambala but had not taken part in the race. The youth were hailing from different professions including carpenter, farmers, fitters,
photographers, drivers conductors, computer operators, and so on.”

He said “it is a complete training which has given importance to physical and mental fitness. The training included yogasana, physical exercise, ground exercise, personality development programmes and lecture on various issues related to kambala.”  

They were given training in cleaning the cow shed, bathing buffaloes, food for buffalo meant for Kambala, tying the rope for kambala buffalo, tying the rope over head, decorating the buffalo, decorating the stick and so on. It was a scientific training for the youth.”

The training was provided by Cyril D’Souza. “We also held competition in each category and prizes were distributed to the youth.”  They were also created awareness on group insurance, medical insurance by the experts.  Kadamba says “the youth will also be given training for five-days during kambala at Miyar in September. The whole training process was free of cost. We also gave priority to discipline.”

Future plan

The Academy is planning to organise five-days training for those who are already into the profession. “We also have plan to set up a museum exclusively for Kambala. The museum will have the details on those who had served in the Kambala, categories of Kambala, traditional kambala vs modern Kambala, implements used for kambala and so on.”

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