Via The Tribune :
A concerted effort is being made by Kreeda, an organisation in Chennai, to revive the traditional games of India so that they do not die out. Through such efforts, Kreeda also hopes to give children and adults an alternative to electronic entertainment and a means to bond, while also exploring ways to use such games to teach, impart life skills and facilitate corporate training.The Kreeda team is leaving no stone unturned in its initiative to research, document, revive and popularise traditional Indian games among today’s youngsters, which it sees as the ‘make or break generation’. “If the children and young adults of today do not become aware of these games and realise their manifold values, there is a real possibility that they will be lost forever,”.Games that have got a new lease of life due to this initiative include Pallanguzhi (cup and shell); Paramapadam (steps to the highest place); and Adu Puli Attam (goat and tiger). While the first game involves moving shells or stones from one ‘cup’ to another in a wooden frame and improves motor skills, the second is a board game in which a dice is rolled and players progress to the higher numbers. This game has proved valuable in teaching mathematics.The third—Adu Puli Attam—is a strategy game, needing skill, concentration, analysis, anticipation and planning. In this game, the opponents’ strength has to be assessed and both defensive and offensive tactics have to be employed. It can be played by two people or two teams. According to the rules, the tigers have to kill the goats, while the goats have to encircle their predators. Interestingly, Adu Puli Attam is popular with corporate houses during training sessions.Premalatha (55), Principal, Mahatma Gandhi School, Madurai, says that at her school they use Paramapadam and Pallanguzhi to teach mathematics to children between the first and the eighth grade. “Apart from simple arithmetic, complex concepts like fractions, integers and even probability can be picked up,” says Kreeda’s Vinita. Hyderabad-based Rama Badam recently bought Pallanguzhi. Not having played such games during childhood, Rama as well as her eight-year-old daughter soon became totally hooked on the game. Now, the duo prefers spending their free time playing Pallanguzhi together rather than watching TV or going out.Interestingly, the games also help go-getter executives climb the corporate ladder. Many leading companies, including Microsoft, ABN Amro, Orchid Chemicals, ING Vysya and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), now make use of these games for their staff, either for leadership training or as ‘de-stressers’.