Navi Mumbai: The over 150-year-old dying tradition of kushti or wrestling will be alive once again as the Navi Mumbai civic body has finally given a nod to develop a wrestling ring in a proposed sports complex. Located in the Shabaz village in sector 20 of Belapur, the plot sprawls 3,778 sq m area and was earlier under the ownership of the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO).
Owing to the constant follow ups of local corporator Poonam Mithun Patil during the past four years, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has now allotted the land for developing a state-of-the-art sports complex. Earlier, the land was tagged as a reserved playground.
“During Ram Navami, a three-day kushti or wrestling competition is one of the important events. However, over the period with urbanisation, due to lack of space, the centuries-old tradition was dying,” said Mrs Patil, adding that the plot was earlier a CIDCO godown but wasn't in use. Hence, it was transferred to the NMMC by the CIDCO in 2001.
However, there was a reservation for a playground and to use the plot for other purposes, an official tag change was mandatory. “I followed with the NMMC administration and met the then Sports and Youth Welfare Minister Aditi Tatkare and ensured that funds for developing a wrestling and sports complex were allotted,” said Mrs Patil.
Now, there is no hurdle in the development of a wrestling ring. “The finale of the wrestling event is held on the day of Navami when wrestlers from across the city and beyond participate to win the 'Belapur- Kesari' title,” she said, adding that villagers are happy that centuries-old tradition will be alive once again.
Apart from the wrestling ring, there will be facilities for kho-kho, a swimming pool, badminton court, volleyball, basketball and other games.
“During Ram Navami, a three-day kushti or wrestling competition is one of the important events. However, over the period with urbanisation, due to lack of space, the centuries-old tradition was dying.”
Poonam Mithun Patil, Corporator
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