In a unique move, a sports management company based out of Kerala is organising a Cycle Rickshaw Racing League (CRRL) primarily in Tamil Nadu on June 3, the birth anniversary of former Chief Minister, late M. Karunanidhi.
The league, according to the officials of the Sports and Management Research Institute (SMRI) that is conducting the event, aims to enhance the quality of life of rickshaw riders through the application of sports management and sports engineering.
B.T. Sijin, President, SMRI, told IANS, “We are organising the Cycle Rickshaw Racing League as a tribute to former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, late M. Karunanidhi, as it was he who banned hand-pulled rickshaws and promoted cycle rickshaws stating that all are born equal.”
He said that the team would be raising awareness about the competition in schools and colleges across Tamil Nadu.
The SMRI chief said, “One can be a CRRL team owner by buying a cycle rickshaw and during the non-game days, the rickshaw can be used by rickshaw drivers for a livelihood.”
He said that SRMI would also organise a rickshaw design competition for engineering and polytechnic students, and the best designer will be given Rs 10,000 as prize money. The best designer will also become part of the technical team of SRMI.
The organisers said that the main objective of the competition is to promote sports entrepreneurship in India, especially among students.
Sijin said that his organisation would identify and train sports lovers who have business acumen.
The race will be held in 5 km, 10 km, and 15 km categories. In the 10 km and 15 km categories, the cycle rickshaw driver will have to cover the distance with 200 kg mass inside the vehicle.
The event, according to SRMI, is to be planned across the cities of Chennai, Madurai, Tiruchi, and Puducherry. The SRMI also plans to organise the competition in other Indian cities like Agra, Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkota.
Sijin said that SRMI is also planning to conduct the competition in foreign countries as well.