Coimbatore. The much-awaited finale of the Isha Gramotsava 2023, a social initiative launched by Sadhguru, will be played on September 23 in front of the iconic 112 feet Adiyogi statue, at the Isha Yoga Centre, Coimbatore. This mega sporting event, which gives a platform to thousands of rural sportspersons from all South Indian states, aims to inculcate the spirit of sportsmanship and vibrancy in the lives of rural people.
Anurag Thakur, India’s Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports and Sadhguru, Founder of Isha Foundation, will be present at this important event to witness the demonstration of India’s rural sports power.
In the heart of rural South India, Isha Gramotsavam has emerged as a powerful catalyst for transformation. Isha Foundation’s tireless work is turning desolate villages, previously plagued by addiction and despair, into thriving places of joy, unearthing latent talents and… pic.twitter.com/KJV2cy1jhw
— Isha Foundation (@ishafoundation) September 12, 2023
Over 60,000 players from five South Indian states – Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry – participated in the 15th edition of the Isha Gramotsav, with cluster and division level programs being organized across 194 rural locations. Reflecting a massive revolution, Isha Gramotsavam saw more than 10,000 rural women, most of them participating in events like Grihini, Kabaddi and Throwball.
Talking about the festive spirit behind Isha Gramotsav, Sadhguru said, ‘Isha Gramotsav is an opportunity to come alive through sports. A sport can unite people across all social divides. The strength of sport is that it erases the boundaries of race, religion and other identities with celebratory humor. One ball can change the world if you go into the game with full participation,” he wrote on the social media platform. Here you will know the joy of playing.
Isha #Gramotsav A celebration of life through sport. A sport can unite people across all social divides; This is the power of sport – that it can erase the boundaries of caste, religion and other identities with a celebration of sport. It’s not about becoming a competitive… pic.twitter.com/ujfP34X0Jd
— Sadhguru (@SadhguruJV) August 6, 2023
The Gramotsavam, being organized since 2004, this year includes Men’s Volleyball, Women’s Throwball and Tamil Nadu’s Rural Sports as well as Men’s and Women’s Kabaddi. Winners in Volleyball and Throwball will get Rs 5 lakh and Rs 2 lakh respectively, and the winning men’s and women’s teams in Kabaddi will get Rs 5 lakh and Rs 2 lakh respectively. Competing players will also get a chance to win a prize of 55 lakh rupees.
Swami Nakuja of Isha Yoga Center associated with the organizing team of Isha Gramotsav said, ‘The unique aspect of Isha Gramotsav is that all the team players are from the same village. It is not a tournament for professional players but a platform that encourages everyone to play. From encouraging everyone to take up sports to reviving the joy of rural sports and reviving lost traditional art forms, the entire initiative has been carefully designed to celebrate the entire village and bring back the excitement of rural life.
Creating a connection with all the participants and the rural people, this year’s Gramotsavam theme song was sung by leading Telugu singer Ram Miriala. Check out the ‘Ra Aadu Atadu’ (Let’s play, play a game!) Gramotsavam theme here:
In the previous edition of Isha Gramotsav, 8,412 teams participated with 1,00,167 players. Isha Outreach, which organizes Isha Gramotsav, has been recognized as a National Sports Promotion Organization (NSPO) by the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs. In 2018, Isha received the ‘National Sports Promotion Award’ from the Hon’ble President of India for Outreach Sports Development.
Sports personalities like Sachin Tendulkar, Olympic medalist Rajvardhan Singh Rathore and Karnam Malleswari have earlier attended the sports festival finals as special guests. Mithali Raj, PV Sindhu, Virender Sehwag, Shikhar Dhawan also supported the event while talking about Isha Gramotsav.