Governor urges stakeholders for concerted effort to save pony from extinction
IMPHAL | Mar 19
The Manipuri pony is facing a serious challenge to its existence and it is very distressing to see the condition of the ponies standing on the roads without anybody looking after them. This was stated by Governor Dr. Najma Heptulla as chief guest at the closing ceremony of the 29th Governor’s Cup Invitation Polo Tournament, 2019 and 18th Governor’s Cup Women’s Polo Tournament, 2019 at Imphal Pologround today.
In the closing ceremony of the 29th Governor’s Cup Invitation Polo Tournament, 2019, X Polo Club defeated Chingkheihunba Polo Club by 5-3 while, in the 18th Governor’s Cup Women’s Polo Tournament, 2019, Imphal Raising Club (IRC) defeated Chingkheihunba Polo Club by 4-0.
Speaking on the occasion, Governor said food poisoning and road accidents are often found to be the main reasons for the death of Pony. Concerted effort by all stakeholders is the need of the hour to save this breed from extinction. Manipur is known as the ‘powerhouse’ of sports. It is, therefore, no wonder that the creativity and the spirit of competitiveness powered by the martial characteristic of the people of Manipur gave the world the popular indigenous game called ‘Sagol Kangjei’ which is now known as Polo all over the world. Polo is the pride of the State and it is definitely something to be proud of for every Manipuri.
Governor further stated that these tournaments are organized by the Manipur Horse Riding and Polo Association with the main objectives to save Manipuri Pony and to popularize the game of Polo besides promoting tourism. One unique aspect of the tournaments is that the game is played on Manipuri pony. The Manipuri pony, a recognized breed of India though small, is sturdy and agile. There is an imminent threat to this rare Manipuri Pony breed and so also to the game of polo. The survival of this rare species is a serious question now as it is reported that the number of Manipuri Pony will decline to less than 500 in some years if the fast dwindling number is not checked on time. Human intrusion in their natural grazing fields has displaced the ponies, forcing them to come to the streets for their survival.
The initiative taken by the State Government for developing Pony Sanctuary at Heingang, Imphal East District and Pony Breeding Farm at Lamphel, Imphal West District will certainly make a difference for the better. The collective efforts of the State Government, commitment and dedication of all the members of the Manipur Horse Riding & Polo Association, polo players, different clubs, pony owners and most importantly, the people of Manipur will lead to a turnaround and brighter days are ahead for both the Manipuri pony and the polo game, she added.
Governor announced financial assistance of an amount of Rs. 1.00 lakh from the Governor’s Discretionary Fund to the organizers.
Later, trophies and cash prizes were distributed to the winners and runners up of the tournament by the Chief Guest and dignitaries. Winners and Runners of the 29th Governor’s Cup Invitation Polo Tournament, 2019, received Trophy and cash prize of Rs 50,000 and Rs 30,000 while, winners and runners up of the 18th Governor’s Cup Women’s Polo Tournament, 2019, received trophy and cash prize of Rs 20,000 and Rs 15,000 respectively.
As part of tournament, two veteran Polo players of the State, Y. Jilla Singh and Ksh. Joykumar Singh were also honoured with cash incentive award of Rs 10,000 each.
The closing ceremony was attended by H. Deleep Singh, president, Manipur Horse Riding & Polo Association, S. Buddhachandra Singh, advisor, Manipur Horse Riding & Polo Association, Prof. Ch. Priyoranjan and others.
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