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UP: Elderly villagers hit loneliness for a six, and how!

Much like the Bollywood film Lagaan, a motley bunch of farmers, milkmen, retired employees and daily wagers from villages padded up for a ‘pitch battle’ in Pindra town, about 25 kilometres from the Varanasi.

lucknow Updated: Oct 16, 2017 14:58 IST
Sudhir Kumar
Sudhir Kumar
Hindustan Times, Varanasi
Bollywood film Lagaan,Pindra town,Varanasi
Clad in dhoti-kurta, they played a 10 over-a-side cricket match at the special ground that a non-government organisation readied for the occasion.(HT Photo)

Much like the Bollywood film Lagaan, a motley bunch of farmers, milkmen, retired employees and daily wagers from villages padded up for a ‘pitch battle’ in Pindra town, about 25 kilometres from the Varanasi district headquarters, on Sunday.

Unlike the 2001 Aamir Khan-starrer, these villagers in their sixties were not playing for freedom from taxes but to drive away loneliness, which some of them said was becoming a problem for senior citizens in the rural areas too.

Clad in dhoti-kurta, they played a 10 over-a-side cricket match at the special ground that a non-government organisation readied for the occasion. The players belong to villagers near Pindra. Many locals gathered to watch the match.

The ground was smaller than a regular cricket field. A matting wicket was used.

Winning the toss, team Laxmi XI batted first, scoring 45 runs with the help of one boundary. Kamakant-XI achieved the target for loss of five wickets with two boundaries.

Laxmikant said, “We are quite happy to have played the cricket match as it bowled out our loneliness. We enjoyed it. The event should be organised every two months so that elderly people from different villages spend a couple of hours together.”

Kamalakant, captain of the winning team, said: “In this era of materialism, everyone is quite busy. People don’t have time for elderly people. Earlier this used to be a problem in cities. But now this is a problem in the rural pockets as well. So, a cricket match for the elderly is a great idea.”

Such an event may be organised in other pockets of the state, he hoped, adding those interested may come together and participate in the sport.

He thanked the organisers Dr Rangnath Dubey and Dr Sangeeta Dubey for making the effort to hold the event. They run the Swargiya Dr Ramakant Dubey Sanstha which organised the match. This NGO has been working for the welfare of senior citizens for some time. It honours the elderly at a function every year. It was at one such function that the idea of holding a cricket for senior citizens was floated and the elderly welcomed the idea.

Dr Rangnath Dubey, who felicitated members of both teams, said, “We organised the match first for the elderly. They welcomed the idea and participated in it with enthusiasm. Team members have promised to meet again soon.”

He said he would try to organise such a match every four months. Both teams were given mementos.

First Published: Oct 16, 2017 14:58 IST