Mysore/Mysuru: Two girls from Mysuru, 9-year-old V. Prakruthi and her sister 13-year-old V. Namrutha will represent Karnataka in the ‘Kalarippayattu’ category in the Khelo India Youth Games-2023 scheduled to be held from Feb. 8 to 10 at Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh.
Prakruthi and Namrutha are studying at Police Public School in Mysuru. While Prakruthi is studying in fourth standard, Namrutha is in seventh standard. They will be the first children from Mysuru to represent Karnataka in the sport of ‘Kalarippayattu’ in the Khelo India Games.
In 2021, the Union Sports Ministry approved the inclusion of four indigenous games including ‘Kalarippayattu’ in the Khelo India Youth Games. The other games are ‘Gatka’, ‘Thang-Ta’ and ‘Mallakhamba’.
‘Kalarippayattu’ was developed in Kerala and feats like ‘chattom’ (jumping), ‘ottam’ (running) and ‘marichil’ (somersault) are an integral part of the art. There are also lessons in using weapons like swords, daggers, spears, maces, and bows and arrows. The main aim is to completely coordinate the mind and body. The sport is a specialisation in indigenous medicinal practices and Kalaris are important centres of religious worship.
The girls are being trained and coached by G. Varun Yadav, Founder and Instructor of ‘Kalari Sadhana Mysuru’ at Udayagiri. They will be competing in two sub-junior events: ‘Chuvadu’ (shadow boxing forms) and ‘Kettukari neduvadi payattu’ (long-stick fighting).
Varun is also an associate instructor in contemporary self-defence systems like rapid assault tactics and ‘Shifu Kanishka’ combative. He also teaches other indigenous Indian combat systems like ‘Silambam’ and ‘Kuthuvarisai’.
Daughters of Venkoji and Radha of Udayagiri, Prakruthi and Namrutha have been practising ‘Kalarippayattu’ for the last two-and-a-half years and have also won laurels in open ‘Kalarippayattu’ championships like ‘Athar Bappu Gurukkal Smaraka Kalam Chavitt Championships.’