A Three-day mega Rural Olympics is set to begin from February 9 in Kila Raipur,where people from across the state are scheduled to participate. The events main attraction will be a bullock cart race. The problem: On July 11,2011,the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests banned performance by bulls,monkeys,tigers,panthers and lions.
When asked,the event organisers expressed surprise over the ban. Sukhvir Grewal,a former Olympian and an organiser,said: I am not aware of any ban on bull races,in fact they are our main attraction. We have increased the prize money for these races.
Another organiser,Jagbir Singh Grewal,on the other hand,claimed: The ban is binding only in Karnataka and not in Punjab. More than 100 participants will take part in the bullock cart race and prizes worth lakhs will be given to them. While last year,the total prize money for the event was Rs 15 lakh,it has been increased to Rs 20 lakh this time.
When contacted,Dr Sandeep Jain,coordinator of Care for Animals and Protection of Environment (CAPE),India,blamed the ministry for the issue. The ministry should ensure implementation of orders once they are issued. No one is following ban orders as of now in Punjab, he said.