Gatka is a Sikh martial art form which is performed during religious processions in the community. “The main aim of learning Gatka is to stay fit and healthy and lead a disciplined life. Unfortunately, the number of children training in Gatka is decre-asing every year,” said Ranjit Singh, member AP Sikh community. “Parents are keener on higher education. Educating your children is not wrong, but physical training is also necessary. Gatka can be introduced in physical training periods in schools, so that kids stay in touch with their traditions.”
Worried about the decreasing number of Gatka learners, the Sikh community in the City is now planning to start many programmes to motivate kids to learn this martial art form. “Learning Gatka is the need of the hour in our country and it should not be restricted only to boys. Women are being assaulted and harassed mentally and physically every day. If girls are trained in Gatka, it can be useful for self defence and it will boost their confidence level,” Ranjit Singh said. “It might so happen that the next generation is totally unaware of the art of Gatka,” said Bachanjeet Singh, Prabhandak committee member. “The training not only gives confidence and a positive attitude, but will also give practitioners complete control over body movements and mind. The problem in our country is that other games like cricket and football are given more importance, and as a result, children are moving away from their own traditions and culture. There is no need to go to the gym to maintain your physique if you practise Gatka. Also, the younger generation gets connected to the society by participating in such games.”
Unfortunately in our country, most parents give more importance to their children’s academic achievements than physical fitness. “I agree that physical training is important but where is the time? These days school timings are from 8am to 8pm. There is hardly any time left for any other activity. If you want name and fame in this society, you have to be well educated. And to get a good job in the future, a higher percentage is required. Gatka or any other cultural activity will not fetch a good job,” said Puja Sethi, mother of two kids and a corporate employee. Gatka is kept alive in Sikh communities, where the techniques have been passed down through generations.