Loss of traditional games is loss of spirit of childhood: Modi

Loss of traditional games is loss of spirit of childhood: Modi

In picture: Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PTI photo.

Even as Twitter is abuzz with the 'Fit India' campaign, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday flagged the fading away of many traditional games, saying it "will not just be a loss of a game" but the "loss of the spirit of childhood".

Referring to the overwhelming response to the 'Fit India' campaign, he said it was heart-warming that Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli, too, took part in it and included him in his challenge.

"I too have accepted his challenge. I believe this is gainful and this kind of a challenge will inspire us to be fit, along with others as well," he said.

Modi's emphasis in his monthly radio programme, 'Mann Ki Baat', was on traditional games as they were once a part and parcel of every child's life are "fading into oblivion".

Modi felt that videos and animation films of traditional games across the country should be produced so that younger generations can see and play for themselves.

From 'Pitthoo', which is aiming the ball at the crooked column of stone slats to playing marbles, spinning the top 'Lattoo' to Gilli-Danda, he said innumerable games were an inseparable part of each and every child's life across the country.

"I knew of a game played in Gujarat called Chomal Isto. It is played with cowries or tamarind seeds or dice on an eight by eight square board. It used to be played in almost every state. Known as Chowkabara in Karnataka, Attoo in Madhya Pradesh, Pakidakali in Kerala, Champal in Maharashtra, Daayaam and Thaayaam in Tamilnadu, Changaa Po in Rajasthan, it had innumerable names. One realizes after playing, despite not knowing the language of a particular state, 'Oh! We used to play this game in our state as well'," he said.

Concerned that these games may "fade away to the point of extinction", he said it would not "just be a loss of a game" but the "loss of the spirit of childhood, something that will exist only in the verses of poetry".

These games taught people about culture and traditions, made us aware about society and environment.

"Traditional sports and games are structured in such a manner that along with physical ability, they enhance our logical thinking, concentration, alertness and energy levels,” he said.

"Games are not just games, they teach us values in life, such as setting targets, building up determination, developing team spirit and fostering mutual co-operation," he said, referring to a training programme in business management where traditional sports were used for personality development and inter-personal skills.