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INDIA: Boys at Bosco Boys Home learn how to play mallakhamb, a traditional Indian sport

(MissionNewswire) Boys at the Bosco Boys Home located in the Borivli neighborhood of Mumbai, India were introduced to mallakhamb, a traditional Indian sport, as a way to stay fit and healthy. The sport involves performing aerial yoga postures and wrestling grips in concert with a vertical, stationary or hanging wooden pole, cane or hanging rope. The word mallakhamb refers to the pole used in the sport.

“This is the only sport that provides optimum exercise to the entire body in the least possible time. Besides giving perfect shape and form to the body, it also gives remarkable control over the limbs. Due to continuous twisting and turning, the whole body gets massaged and every cell is rejuvenated,” explained Moreshwar Ingole, the mallakhamb instructor.

He added, “’External muscles are developed and the efficiency of internal systems is also increased. It also makes use of a number of yogic postures and helps to have control over the breath, the functioning of the brain and other faculties like memory, concentration and coordination are also well developed. It helps you to have better mental and physical attributes like flexibility, focus and balance. Through mallakhamb, one can control both the mind and body.”

A two-hour long session taught the participating boys the basics of mallakhamb. The focus of the initiative is to encourage good health and the development of a daily exercise habit. One of the participants, Aryan Yadav, said, “I really enjoyed the exercises. First, I thought it will be difficult to climb on the rope but then after three rounds it was a cake walk for me.”

Sports play an important role in Salesian programs in India and around the globe. Safe recreational activities and team sports encourage physical health, foster community spirit and help keep kids off the street and from joining gangs.

India has the world’s fourth largest economy but more than 22 percent of the country lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a new report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. A “multidimensionally poor” child is one who lacks at least one-third of 10 indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.

India’s youth face a lack of educational opportunities due to issues of caste, class and gender. Almost 44 percent of the workforce is illiterate and less than 10 percent of the working-age population has completed a secondary education. In addition, many secondary school graduates do not have the knowledge and skills to compete in today’s changing job market.



Don Bosco India – Staying Fit the Mallakhamb Way

World Bank – India

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