Report by Badal Tah; Rayagada: On the eve of National Sports Day to commemorate 112th birth anniversary of Major Dhyan Chand, the legendary hokey star of India, incessant rains due to low pressure in the Bay of Bengal did not deter the sportspersons of Rayagada who assembled in the early morning near Kholliguda beside NH-326 to take part in the mini marathon organized by RWSS to further the Open Defecation Free(ODF) campaign in Rayagada district. Around two hundred boys and girls took part in the marathon which was flagged off by Collector Mrs Guha Poonam Tapash Kumar, who is well known for her flare for ODF.
The girls ran upto Bhakurguda ITI whereas the boys ran upto Kumutipentha. Guha distributed prizes to five winners from each group and explained the importance of observing freedom from open defecation fortnight. She highlighted the components of Swachha Bharat Mission-Grameen(SWM-G) and the roles of school and college students to take forward the objectives of SWM(G). She reminisced the contribution of magical hokey player Dhyan Chand on this eve of National Sports Day and assured the gathering that hokey will be initiated and promoted in entire Rayagada district.
Sri Bidika Sidhu and Kumari Kabita Tadingi became the winners from boy & girl categories respectively. Both are from local Kandha tribal community and without any formal training. Sidhu is from Ambaguda and continuing his +2 studies in correspondence due to lack of finance. “The tribal lads and lasses have potential to excel in several sports activities; but due to lack of exposure, formal training and sponsors, their growth is hindered. If the district administration take pro-active steps in this regard, it will bring a sea change in the lives of these unsung and invisible sportspersons”, said Sri Bijay Mishra, President, District Softball Association, Rayagada.
PD-DRDA, Sub-Collector, Rayagada, District Sports Officer, Executive Engineer-cum-Member Secretary, RWSS, Rayagada, Doctors of District Headquarters Hospital were present and cheered the participants of the mini-marathon. This event was facilitated by the Consultant-RWSS, Project Coordinator-RWSS alongwith PETs of the local schools. The police maintained law and order.