“Archery is the traditional game of Chhattisgarh”: Youngsters who excel – Jharkhand & Chhattisgarh

Book cover: Disaibon Hul © Adivaani.org >>
Hul (Santal rebellion 1855-1856) | Santal Parganas | Tribal freedom fighters >>

Tribal village Siwatarai emerges as archery hub | Read the full article here >>

RAIPUR: In the midst of forests, a tiny village in Bilaspur district of Chhattisgarh has emerged as a hub of archers during the last eight years as it has produced more than 50 national players who have secured 122 odd medals in national and state level championships.

The archers of Siwatarai village have excelled in championships even without much professional training and facilities as they belong to traditional archery community where youngsters are exposed to the skill at early age.

A local archery coach Itwari Raj told TOI that both boys and girls, being from the archery community, pick up the skill very fast. […]

Chhattisgarh Archery Association Secretary Kailash Murarka told TOI “not only in Shiwatarai there are immense talented archers living in the state and with minimum facilities of their places the number of national level archers coming out forms the villages”.

He said providing appropriate facilities with modern training will help boost the skill level of young archers. Archery is the traditional game of Chhattisgarh so if state government would help in infrastructure and equipment’s than I hope that this kind of villages can soon produce the archers of international level and make the country proud by winning medals at global sporting events, he added.

Source: “Tribal village Siwatarai emerges as archery hub” by Divya Dubey, Times of India, 27 November 2017
URL: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/more-sports/others/tribal-village-siwatarai-emerges-as-archery-hub/articleshow/61822651.cms
Visited: 8 November 2021

Find publications on India’s tribal cultural heritage

Jharkand’s Wonder Boy: Prodigious Tribal Teen Archer Wins Gold for India!

The trio of Akash Malik, Gaurav Lambe and Gora beat the Mongolians, scoring 27-26 in the final tie-breaker and securing a gold medal for India. Gora Ho stood strong, with his back straight, arms stretched and eyes focusing strictly on the target. He gripped his bow, stretched the string, and perfectly balanced the arrow. It was a matter of just one perfect pull and release that would help Gora earn a gold medal at the Asia cup.

The 17-year-old comes from a tribal belt in Jharkhand and has already secured over a 100 medals in state and national level tournaments. The journey began six years ago when Gora was training at the Arjuna Archery Academy in Kharswan. B Srinivas Rao, his current coach spotted Gora there and realised immediately that this child was a prodigy archer who would do wonders under proper guidance at the Dugni Academy in Seraikela.

Even as it was apparent that Gora possessed immense talent in archery, the fact was that he comes from a poverty-stricken family where pursuing sports might not have been the most preferred career choice. The youngest of four siblings, Gora lost his mother in 2016. His 50-year-old father, Khaireu Ho, suffered a paralytic attack two years ago and has been confined to a bed since.
But the grave circumstances never made Gora from making his family and now the country, proud of him. | Read the full story here >>

Source: “Jharkand’s Wonder Boy: Prodigious Tribal Teen Archer Wins Gold for India!” by Tanvi Patel, The Better India, 12 March 2018
URL: https://www.thebetterindia.com/134050/jharkand-tribal-archer-gold-india/
Visited: 8 November 2021

Photo Birsa Munda © Wikipedia >> photograph in Roy (1912-72)

“Munda’s rebellion had shaken the foundations of the British empire, fighting the British army’s advanced weapons with bow and arrows. He died under mysterious circumstances in the Ranchi jail, and has, since then, been remembered as a martyr.” – Sushmita in The Wire >>

“Despite the many honours bestowed on Birsa Munda at high places, there has not been much change in the situation of tribal people at the grassroots level. The basic motivations behind tribal rebellions, i.e., Jal, Jangal aur Zameen (water, forest and land) remain the same. Hence, the fight by the tribal people of India will probably continue until a radical change is made in the government’s policy towards them.” – Ivy Imogene Hansdak in The Indian Express >>

“Who owns India? Who owns the forests and rivers, the farmlands eyed by industry, the slums coveted by real estate developers and airport authorities, the hills and plateaus desired by mining barons? In roughly a third of the country, this is no idle question.” – Sunil Khilnani in Outlook Magazine >>

“Many people – though not all – have been able to secure freedom from torture, unjustified imprisonment, summary execution, enforced disappearance, persecution and unjust discrimination, as well as fair access to education, economic opportunities, and adequate resources and health-care.” – Universal Declaration of Human Rights | United Nations >>

Birsa Munda, the Tribal Folk Hero Who Gave the British Sleepless Nights!

He is the only tribal leader whose portrait hangs in Parliament today

Rinchen Norbu Wangchuk, June 15, 2018, 7:15 pm

The movement sought to assert the rights of the Adivasis as the real owners of the soil, and the expulsion of Zamindars and the British. Marked by a series of concerted guerrilla-style attacks on the British, the rebellion claimed the lives of many of its police officers.

It all kickstarted in October 1894, when Birsa mobilised a protest march for remission of forest dues that the local Zamindars collected. Forest produce, he believed, belonged to the Adivasis. […]

What this did was bring other tribes like the Oraon, Mundas and Kharias on one platform. He also advised them to boycott the exploitative practices of the Zamindars and British backers. He was imprisoned for two years at the Hazaribagh Central Jail for his actions.

After his release, Birsa and his followers stepped up their attack against the British. “In August 1897 Birsa Munda along with 400 of his men armed with bows and arrows, attacked the Khunti Police Station. In 1898, on the banks of the river Tanaga, the Mundas faced a British force which they initially defeated. Further action of the British, however, resulted in the arrest of many men and women,” says this Indian Post tribute.

However, his struggle was not just against the British, but also the ignorance in his community. He sought to rid the Munda community of superstition, animal sacrifice and alcoholism. […] 

The history of tribal communities in India post-Independence is replete with stories of exploitation and denial of access to basic amenities. So yes, Birsa Munda was an exceptional freedom fighter who took on the British. However, he entered this protracted battle so that the Mundas and other Adivasi communities could reclaim ownership of not just their resources but their way of life. […]

Source: Birsa Munda, the Tribal Folk Hero Who Gave the British Sleepless Nights!
URL: https://www.thebetterindia.com/146164/birsa-munda-tribal-hero-british-freedom-struggle-parliament/
Date visited: 22 August 2019

On 30th June, 1855, a large assembly of Santals was held at Bhognadih, a village in the Rajmahal hills. There were tens of thousands of people equipped with bows, arrows, swords, battle axes and drums. It was there that the Santal Rebellion started almost 160 years ago, when Santals rose to overthrow the oppressors and start a raj of their own.

The Hul, as it is called, left a deep impression upon the social imaginary of the Santal people. It was a last ditch effort to defend our way of life which was being undermined by the influx of outsiders.

At adivaani, we believe is our duty to keep our stories of injustice, persecution and hope alive in public spaces.

This book is an expression of our resistance and resurgence as Adivasis. It was produced keeping our children in mind, so they can learn our history and preserve our memory as their heritage.

Source: Book release: adivaani presents Disaibon Hul
URL: https://adivaani.org/2014/07/09/book-release-adivaani-presents-disaibon-hul/
Date visited: 22 August 2019

[Bold typeface added above for emphasis]

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“At present, India has 1,350 prisons with a rated full capacity of 4,03,739 prisoners. All jails are bursting with overcrowding and degrading inhuman conditions, so much for standards of human rights of prisoners in terms of the Constitution of India. The Constitution envisioned prisons as centres of reforms, which is not happening.” – Time to tame torturers (tehelka.com) >>

See also: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70 | Human Rights Commission (posts) | National Human Rights Commission: www.nhrc.nic.in (Government of India) >>

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