With the lifting of ban, bullock cart and dogs races are all set to make a comeback in the 77th edition of Kila Raipur Games, also known as rural olympics, beginning from January 31 here. The games will conclude on February 3.
The ban on the bullock and dog races was imposed in 2007 following a notification issued by the government of India under Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act.
In the 2012 edition of the games, races did not take place but after the decision of the Punjab and Haryana high court a time trial event was carried out at Kila Raipur on July 28, following which the ban on races was lifted.
In the tournament, more than 5,000 sportspersons, both in olympic and traditional style, will converge on the dusty fields being watched by around four lakh spectators and viewed on television as also lovers of this sporting event in Canada and England during the festival.
Other games to be played in the event include kabaddi and hockey. The winner of the kabaddi event will get a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh, Rs. 75,000 to the first runner-up, while in the hockey event, the winner will receive Rs. 51,000.
Chief organiser Sukhbir Singh Grewal confirmed that the Bullock Cart Association would participate in the games this year.
"We are ready with our bullocks to participate in the games," said Grewal.
Grewal said MLA Darshan Singh Shiwalik was expected to be the guest of honour on the inaugural and concluding days of the games and union minister Manish Tewari would be guest of honour on the third day.