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Vaccines hold the key for Olympics to go ahead

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:34s - Published
Vaccines hold the key for Olympics to go ahead

Vaccines hold the key for Olympics to go ahead

Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga believes vaccines hold the key for a safe Olympic Games this summer, but Tokyo locals are wary about the event going ahead at all.

Adam Reed reports.


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A Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) constable is providing 'Mallakhamba' training to children in the forests of Abujmarh in Chhattisgarh's Narayanpur district which is hit by the Naxalite violence. The tribal population is deprived of basic facilities like water and electricity even today. Overcoming all obstacles, four children from the district had made it to the final round in 2020 for the selection for a 'Mallakhamba' demonstration in the Japan Olympics, which was scheduled to be held last year but was postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic. CAF constable Manoj Prasad said he learned Mallakhamba in 2016 and has been training children free of cost since then. Speaking to ANI, Manoj said, "I myself learned Mallkhamba in 2016. From 2016-2017, I started training children of Naxalite strongholds who study in Pota Cabins. All children under my tutelage are tribals who were known as 'Abujh'." The coach also informed that four children have made it to the final round for a demonstration of Mallakhamba in the Japan Olympics."These children have a lot of potentials. All the children here are future Olympiads. With this dream, I started coaching them for free," Prasad added. People in Narayanapur have not heard of Mallakhamba before. But in only two to three years of practice, the children from the region have defeated many of the country's biggest players in Mallakhamba and won many gold medals. They went to Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Goa, and many other states to participate in Mallakhamba tournaments from 2019 to 2020.In November 2019, the children won the gold medal by defeating the senior group at the All India level. In March 2020, they won 8 gold, 3 bronze medals, and 4 girls featured in 'Best of Six' in India Under-14. "It was very difficult to defeat the Mallakhamba practitioners of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Despite not being able to beat them for 40 years, our children had worked hard day and night along with their studies. Now they are number one in India", the coach further stated. Rajesh Korram, a class four student, who hails from Asanar village next to Jungle Orchha, said, "I have been learning Mallakhamba since 2018. I won the gold medal by defeating my senior player. I went to Mumbai for the first time on a train. Life has taken a turn for the better. I want to win a gold medal in Japan Olympics." Manu Dhruv, another Mallakhamba player, added he won 2 gold medals in Tamil Nadu. "There is not a good school in our village. These are Naxalite-affected villages. We used to climb trees and play Kabaddi. No one had heard Mallakhamba's name earlier. I started playing Mallakhamba in 2017, living in a porta cabin. Initially, I went to play Tamil Nadu and won 2 gold medals there."

Credit: ANI    Duration: 03:25Published

Yoshihide Suga Yoshihide Suga 99th Prime Minister of Japan

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