Bastar, a district in the state of Chhattisgarh in India, has a long history of violence and conflict. The region has been plagued by insurgency and clashes between the state and various armed groups for decades. In recent years, however, there has been a growing movement among Bastar’s youth to choose sports over guns.

This shift can be traced back to the establishment of the Bastar Premier League (BPL), a local cricket tournament that was started in 2016. The BPL was founded to provide a positive outlet for young people in the region, and it has quickly gained popularity. Today, the BPL is one of the most well-known sports leagues in Bastar, and it has attracted the support of local businesses and government officials.

The impact of BPL has been significant. It has provided young people in Bastar with a sense of purpose and belonging and has given them an alternative to the violence and conflict that have long characterized the region. By engaging in sports, these young people have found a way to channel their energy and passion in a positive direction, and they have been able to form relationships and connections that extend beyond their communities.

The success of sports initiatives in Bastar highlights the importance of providing young people with positive outlets and alternatives to violence. It also serves as a reminder that, even amid conflict and adversity, it is possible to create positive change and build a brighter future. So, it can be concluded that Bastar youth are choosing sports over guns and it is a great sign of development and peace in the region.

What the State Government is Doing to Support this Shift?

The Chattisgarh Government is aware of this positive shift in the mindset of Bastar youngsters. To support this shift, the state government has allocated INR 50 crores to construct sports complexes in and around Jagdalpur city of Bastar. The sports complex will have facilities for youngsters who have an affinity towards badminton, football, track & field events, volleyball, tennis and handball. It comes as an opportunity for the Bastar youth, who had an affinity towards sports, to upgrade their skills and bring laurels for their state and India. The sports complex coach Mr. Rupak Mukherjee spoke in length about the facilities and admission process. Admission is offered under 3 age groups – ages 5 to 8, 9 to 14 and 15 or above. The sports coaches identify the talent of the applicants and allocate them events in which they can be successful. Apart from quality national and international-level coaches, the students are given all kinds of facilities to improve their game.