Kho Kho Nostalgia by Cdr. Ninad Deshpande at Jeevan Pravaas


I am sure many of us born in the 70s and 80s, must have played and share fond memories of chasing and being chased, weaving through human chains in a spirited game of Kho Kho. Back then, sporting resources were scarce, but the vast playgrounds provided ample space for our youthful energy to thrive. With no mobile phones to tether us, lunch breaks were sacred times dedicated to play and camaraderie.

Recently, during a visit to Smt. Shantabai Balkrushna Dhole Patil Madhyamik Vidyalaya in Pune, I was transported back in time. Amidst conducting a workshop on Career Planning & Exam Preparation, in collaboration with Navsanjeevan Social Trust, I witnessed a heartwarming scene: students enthusiastically engaged in a game of Kho Kho during their lunch break.

Watching these girls and boys revel in the simple joy of the game was a poignant reminder of the innocence and fun of childhood. Their laughter echoed across the schoolyard, punctuated by the occasional shout of triumph or playful protest. Yet, amidst the laughter, there was a sobering realization. As these students would be passing out of 10th grade soon, they expressed regret knowing that such carefree playing days would be soon over. However, this is the reality of today – most of the schools lack spacious grounds, and even where available, students seem less inclined to embrace outdoor activities preferring the sterile glow of screens to the raw thrill of muddy fields.

It begs the question: Are we failing to nurture the next generation’s physical and social development by neglecting traditional games like Kho Kho? Beyond the mere joy of play, these games foster teamwork, resilience, and a sense of community – qualities indispensable for navigating life’s challenges.

It’s time we reignite the flame of traditional games like Kho Kho, not merely for nostalgia’s sake, but for the holistic well-being of our children. Let’s encourage them to embrace the outdoors, get their hands dirty, and rediscover the simple pleasures of childhood. After all, in the hustle and bustle of modern life, perhaps what we need most is a return to the uncomplicated joys of yesteryears.

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