Bolangir: Already on the verge of extinction, Western Odisha’s ‘Bagdi’ game has once again got a new lease of life. The game has once more come to the fore after it was selected to be a part of Toycathon-2021 by jury members. All this has happened due to the tireless efforts of Itismita Mishra, a native of Bolangir district, who presently works as a teacher in Assam’s Bongaigaon town.
The objective of Toycathon-2021, an inter-ministerial initiative under ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharta Abhiyan’ floated by the Centre, is to crowd-source innovative games and toys on the basis of India’s civilization, history, culture, mythology and legends.
The event was jointly organised by various ministries including Education, WCD, MSME, Textile, I&B and the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
For participation in Toycathon-2021, projects were invited from students, teachers, startups, researchers and professionals.
The selection of projects was held in four rounds. They were nodal level, final round, grand finale and power judging round. All the rounds were conducted on digital mode.
Itismita, a TGT teacher at Bangaigaon Navodaya Vidyalay in Assam, formed Creative Masters’ Team and deposited the project based on Western Odisha’s forgotten game ‘Bagdi’.
‘ Bagdi’ is played by two players on a square design drawn on a board or floor with many rooms. While one player handles tigers, the second player controls goats and tries to the save those from the carnivores. The innovation associated with the game prompted the national level judges to select it for ‘Toycathon’.
A jubilant, Itismita said she is hopeful that the selection of ‘Bagdi’ will help the game get a new identity in future. Itismita’s husband Manoranjan Padhi, a native of Bolangir district, also works as a teacher at Bongaigaon Navodaya Vidyalay.