Monday, March 2, 2009

Hamara Karachi Festival ‘Malakhda Competitions’: ‘Only the poor have kept this sport alive’

KARACHI: The civilisation of Sindh has sustained its primary characteristics and most of the themes from different eras, although, many have also vanished from the screen.
Traditional wrestling, which is an inevitable and integrated part of the Sindh civilisation, is as alive as it was thousands of years ago and it will remain so till the end of time. Gadap Town Nazim Ghulam Murtaza Baloch stated this while addressing a gathering of people from Gadap Town on the Hamara Karachi Festival ‘Malakhda Competitions’ held at Thado Dam in Gadap Town on Saturday.
Talking to Daily Times, Baloch said that Malakhda is a popular sport in rural areas of Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab but only the poor have kept this sport alive. The competition attracted Malakhda wrestlers from all districts of Sindh including Karachi, district Lasbella in Balochistan and district Multan in Punjab.
The City District Government Karachi (CDGK) registered the Karachi Malh Association so that the sport can be promoted. However, there is an urgent need for an exclusive Malakhda Stadium in the city while the Malakhda wrestlers should be patronised and they should be given employment just like other sportsmen have been facilitated financially, suggested Baloch.
“I request City Nazim Mustafa Kamal to consider establishing a dedicated Malakhda Stadium in the city and offer jobs and other facilities to the wrestlers,” said Baloch.
Talking to Daily Times, CDGK City Council Treasury Bench Leader Asif Siddiqui, who represented the city naib nazim at the competition, said that it was nice to see the way the people of the rural outskirts of the city celebrated the festival and these joint celebrations will promote relations between the two social classes of the province.
The Malakhda competition is a traditional sport of Sindh and it will be ensured that such sports events are held in every town of the city during the next Hamara Karachi Festival, said Siddiqui.
CDGK City Council Member Advocate Sarwat Arif told Daily Times that Gadap Town has the largest number of rural people in the city. Malakhda is one of the most popular sports in these areas and it should be promoted. In this regard, the MQM members in the City Council will fully support a resolution tabled as Donkey Racing has already been patronised.
The unique and colourful show of Malakhda attracted thousands of people from all over Sindh while more than 40 Malakhda wrestlers from different districts of Sindh took part in the competition.
Malakhda wrestler Nadim Palari of Palari Goth near Sohrab Goth defeated Rahim Bux Sheedi of district Thatta and won the first prize in the competition along with Rs 10,000. Wrestler Sher Muhammad Sheikh of district Dadu defeated wrestler Shakoor Sheedi of district Thatta and was the runner-up, he was given Rs 7,000. Wrestler Lal Muhammad alias Guldasta of Karachi defeated wrestler Shafi Chandio of district Nawabshah and was given the third position with a cash prize of Rs 5,000.( Irfan Aligi)