By P.T. Bopanna
Giving a new lease of life, the president of the Harihara Mukkatira Family Association, Mukkatira Uthaiah, has said his family was ready to host the 2019 edition of the Kodava Hockey Festival.
The tournament earlier scheduled to be held at Balugodu near Virajpet in April, 2019, was cancelled in view of the unprecedented devastation caused by the rain havoc in Kodagu.
Speaking to this reporter, the president of the host team Uthaiah, said he was ready to go ahead with the game if it was agreeable to other stake-holders.
Elaborating he said: “We too are pained by the developments on account of the damage caused by the rains. If we are allowed to host the tournament in 2019, we can raise funds to build houses for the displaced persons. We are prepared to create a special fund for building new houses.”
The decision to cancel the 2019 edition was taken by the Kodava Hockey Academy founded by Pandanda Kuttappa (in picture in traditional dress) to oversee and have the final say in all matters related to the tournaments.
Uthaiah disclosed that he had not received any official communication from the Academy regarding the cancellation, except for reading about reports in the media.
The president has also noted that the Mukkatira family had already spent Rs 15 lakh towards preparations for the tournaments.
Public opinion in Kodagu is by and large in favour of holding the 2019 edition of the game. The general opinion, mainly in the social media is that the occasion should be utilized to show the fighting spirit of the people of Kodagu despite the heavy odds. And importantly the occasion could be used to mobilize funds for the rehabilitation of people affected by the tragedy.
Moreover, even the Karnataka government has announced that it would go ahead with Madikeri dasara this year.
Prominent citizens from Kodagu, including Major General (Retd) Codanda K. Karumbaya, writer C.P. Belliappa, Journalist Gautham Machaiah, and Cdr Madanda Somana, have called for going ahead with next year’s tournament.