Celebrating International Indigenous day with Kichad and Khelo Rugby!

Last week was International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. Now a major event in international calendars and an official holiday in the tea garden. Kichad Rugby is a catalyst for change in the region of Saraswatipur, helping rural communities find their voice. 

Saraswatipur is a group of villages surrounding the tea garden, made up mainly of tribal families of the Oroan and Munda tribes who resettled as labourers during colonial times. Although the tribal ancestry of the village is integral to their lives, no one had heard of the United Nations Indigenous Peoples Day or knew of its importance for them.  

Kichad Rugby is changing that. Literally translating as ‘slushy mud’, the rugby tournament in monsoon Saraswatipur brought together coaches and players from the villages, offering them a way of playing the game they loved while also celebrating a day they were interested in learning more about. It was an amazing day filled with joy, rugby and learning. As more and more people have become involved in the day and its celebrations, the joys have been shared with the children. Many came to share dances and singing performances, expressing what the day meant for them as a celebration of their ancestry and culture. 

The Kichad tournament extended an invitation to the Khelo Rugby in Jharkhand. After travelling for 2 days, the Jharkhand children managed to win the tournament and was a rewarding feeling for them to experience their hard work paying off.  

The day was an amazing celebration of the Indigenous Peoples in Saraswatipur and regions across the country. It has shown the power of young people also, allowing them to organise events and believe in themselves to make a positive change.