Mangaluru: Before the advent of mobile phones and playstations, children found unique, innovative and intelligent ways to keep themselves entertained. While today's children play on theirs or their parents' phones, children many years ago played with sticks, stones, leaves, discarded tires, palm leaves etc. One child would sit on an areca sheath (areca leaf), while another would hold the free end and pull him for some distance, kind of like a trolley. Later, the two would switch places.
Now, the management of Vivekananda Higher Primary School, Vinobhanagar, located near Jalsur in the Sullia taluk, is trying to revive this and many other traditional games. It had recently arranged this game at their school grounds, a move that was welcomed not only by the children but also by the parents.
The parents also helped and showed their support by procuring areca sheaths for the games.
Other traditional games like lagori, kunte bille, kabaddi, kho kho etc. were also arranged in order to attract the children towards the traditional games.
These days, the most common complaint parents have is that their children prefer to spend more time with mobile games rather than playing outdoors, reading or writing. However, they forget that they are also indirectly responsible for their children's attitude towards physical activity.
In the golden days of yore, most of the children loved to play traditional games. Now, however, they are either interested in video games and mobile games, or cricket, football, skating and others which require large sums of money to buy equipment.
Yashodha Panjikallu, mother of Swathi, a first standard student of Vivekananda School, said that even though she had bought a bicycle for her daughter, she refused to use it after the school arranged the areca sheath game. "Earlier, my daughter used to force me to give her my phone. But now, she has stopped that," she said and added that this is a positive development.
Head Mistress of the school, Pavana told newskarnataka.com that their intention was to attract the attention of the school children towards the traditional games. "We also asked the parents not to give mobile phones to their children as it consumes a lot of the children's precious time,” she added.
This school is operated by the Vivekananda Vidyavardhaka Sangha Puttur. There are around 650 children at this school from kindergarten to SSLC.
Correspondent of the school Sudhakar Kamath told newskarnataka.com that along with traditional games, the school has opted for the 'Gurukula Model of Education', wherein a teacher recites shlokas, bhajans etc for the children.
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