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USHA-Malabar Social Service Society Organises Its First Kalaripayattu Mahotsavam 2022 In Kerala

USHA-Malabar Social Service Society Organises Its First Kalaripayattu Mahotsavam 2022 In Kerala

In Kerala, Kalaripayattu is one of India's oldest surviving martial arts. Like Manipur's Thang Ta, Kalaripayattu includes the use of weapons like swords, daggers, maces and even bare hands. Though the martial art was practised by the warrior class of Kerala to defend the land, today this traditional sport is only staged during festivals and special occasions. The British had banned Kalaripayattu for fear of revolution. This resulted in the sudden decline of the martial art across the state. It was in the late 20th century, that the practise of Kalaripayattu gradually gained popularity as part of continuing efforts to promote traditional art forms in South India.

Also Read: USHA International Revives Manipur's Traditional Sport 'Thang Ta' Among Youngsters

Today USHA and the Silai school women are involved in promoting, organising and even participating in local Kalaripayattu events. One such event was organised in Kannur by USHA Play, where several women and children came together to revive the traditional sport of Kerala.

USHA collaborated with the Malabar Social Service Society to organise its first ‘USHA Kalaripayattu Mahotsavam-2022' and people from all walks of life joined the event to support the initiative.

MGS Kalari Sangam President, Sathyan Kadakkad said,

Kalari is the oldest known martial art form. It is Kerala's pride that this form originated here. The wider known martial art forms such as Karate, Judo, Kung Fu are derived from people who had travelled to Kerala to study Kalari. Kalari is not just a martial arts form, this also can be used to treat and any physically demanding work can be done by a person who has an expertise in Kalari.

The first performance included children showcasing various moves using shields and sticks. The performances also included manoeuvres using swords and other weapons. The participants also used fire in their performances. Even with the element of danger involved, they made it look effortless and well-choreographed. The Silai school women played a big role in organising the event, so much so that without their support, the event may not have even happened. For USHA, this investment in indigenous sports is about participation & popularity, not competition & winning.

Kalaripayattu player Sandhya Nambiar was inspired by her daughter to join the Kalari classes. She said,

It is my daughter who gave me the inspiration to pursue Kalari. She has been studying here for the past eight years, and I joined in watching my daughter. After joining this institute, my mental and physical strength has increased. All I have to say to the housewives and other women is that you get a great relief from the mental and physical ailments by practising Kalari.

Watch: USHA And Rural Women Are Promoting And Reviving Rural Traditional Sports

Dineshan Gurukkal started practising Kalaripayattu when he was only 15. Today, he is 62-years-old and has trained more than a thousand students, including foreigners. Mr Gurukkal said,

When USHA international had been assigned this project earlier. We had a plan of doing this at a district level. Due to some technical difficulties. This reached a point that is only confined to our Kalari school. USHA International and Malabar Service Society's support has been instrumental in making this programme a grand success, Thanking you for all your support.

MGS president Mr. Kadakkad said,

With the sponsorship of USHA international, and with the help of Malabar Social Service Society, the program organised today with 100 members is a grand success. We thank everyone, especially the sponsors and Malabar Social Service Society. Thank you.

For USHA, encouraging indigenous sports in India is also about breaking gender barriers through sport. And the women of their Silai schools play a pivotal role in this regard.

Also Read: With Every Cut, Stitch, And Measure, Tulsi Is Building Her Own Empire

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About the Initiative

About the Initiative

Kushalta Ke Kadam, an initiative by NDTV and USHA, aims at empowering women from rural India and encourages them to become entrepreneurs by taking up sewing and training others in their respective communities. Since 2011 Usha Silai Campaign has trained more than 3.95 lakh rural women within five years, with 17,000 Silai schools, spanning over 9272 Indian villages in India.

 

Kushalta Ke Kadam in Season 4 has returned with new goals and vision. The new season will witness the establishment of the new cluster in Kashmir, apart from the existing four clusters setup last year. The women from volatile Kashmir will work with well-known fashion designer Rohit Bal and get an unique opportunity to learn from him and make clothes for him. The work done by the Silai School women will be presented at Lakme Fashion week 2019.

 

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