Member Secretary of the member-secretary of the State Level Advisory Committee for Students and Youth Welfare in Assam, Gitartha Goswami inaugurated the Olympia Traditional Sports Museum at Rajgarh in Guwahati on Thursday.
An initiative of the Sports and Cultural Study Centre, the museum aims to put forward all the traditional games and sports of Assam and the Northeast to the world, in order to preserve them, apart from being the hub of knowledge about all indigenous and traditional sports.
The museum has been opened at House number 1, Bye-lane number 6 at Rajgarh road in Guwahati. The inauguration was attended by several eminent personalities associated with sports, culture and other social affairs in the state.
Speaking on the occasion, Goswami commended Chiranjeev Sharma for his initiative in setting up the museum and hailed it as a revolutionary step. He further assured all possible help from the state government in taking this forward.
Retired ACS officer Rajib Prakash Baruah, Krida Bharati’s Northeast Coordinator Manoj Mahanta, former international Tae-kwon-do player Paragdhar Konwar, Assam Kabaddi Association Secretary Alok Tripathi, Assam Tang Soo Do Association Secretary Debajit Gogoi, international swimmer Elvis Ali Hazarika, All India Journalists’ Federation President Subodh Malla Baruah, Assam Roll Ball Association Secretary Bhumidhar Barman, Assam Roller Skating Association Secretary Anupam Sharma, Krida Bharati Guwahati branch President Amal Deka and Cultural Worker Chandan Goutam were among the dignitaries who attended the event.
The event was hosted by Namita Goswami and the vote of thanks was delivered by senior Sports Journalist Uday Borgohain.
The museum also has books and other materials useful for any study in the field, written by eminent personalities associated with sports in Assam.
Speaking on the occasion, Chiranjeev Sharma, the man behind the project said, “I’m really happy today. It feels like I have established something. This has been a dream for a long time and today it has come to life. We have compiled over 600 traditional sports, materials on which are available for anyone who wants to study in this field. In addition, there are over 100 such sports and games on display here in this museum.”
“There are several sports and fun games in our culture which have been lost in the sands of time. We want to preserve these for the knowledge of future generations. I am a sports journalist and have worked with several media houses over time. I noticed that these traditional sports and games are rarely featured and talked about in mainstream media, hence I felt the need to open this museum,” he added.
International swimmer Elvis Ali Hazarika, who was also present, lent in his views. He said, “I never thought that a museum like this would come up. We have all played these games in our childhood and now that I saw them here, it took me back to the good old days. Chiranjeev is like my brother and he has been behind this project for so many years and I commend him for this.”
“This is an important step in the right direction as today’s generation does not know about so many of these games. I will bring my own children here to show them around. These are our sports and our pride and we have to preserve them. Earlier we used to see such games being played at Bihu functions, but nowadays, we don’t see that much. I hope this changes and I wish Chiranjeev best of luck for the future,” he added.
It may be noted that Chiranjeev Sharma has worked for over 10 years to compile all the information to set up the museum. His step has perhaps set up the first traditional sports museum in the entire Northeast.