(Bojja Dasaratha Rami Reddy*)
Snakes and Ladders, India’s ancient board game, is about 100 squares, full of fortunes (Ladders) and traps (Snakes).
It’s a fascinating race that players of all age groups can take part in. The game is called in Telugu as “Vaikuntapali” and “Parama Pada Sofana Patam”.
The game is about symbolizing the ups and downs in life. While the snakes send you crawling down and ladders escalate you to the top, the player who reaches the 100th square first would be proclaimed the winner. The ladders symbolize positive things,while Snakes symbolize negative turns in life. The game is quite educative and fun.
Pan Asia Farmers Exchange Program – 2019 has given an impetus to utilise games to educate people. This led me to develop Snakes and Ladders Board to create awareness among the people of Rayalaseema, most backward region of Andhra Pradesh.
Though Rayalaseema is blessed with the land and climate suitable for cultivation of a wide variety of crops more importantly its populace is hard working. Contrary to its image of a water starved region major rivers such as Krishna and Penna as well as their tributaries Tungabhadra, Vedavati, Handri and Chitravathi, Kundu, Bahuda respectively carry well over 1000 TMC of water each year.
Despite the region having access to such a large amount of water it faces eternal drought on account of insufficient irrigation infrastructure which is compounded by biased water policy which seems to favour the coastal districts (socially, culturally, economically, politically developed districts) of Andhra Pradesh. Rayalaseema has had the misfortune of time and again being either betrayed by its leaders who have in their pursuit for political office sacrificed the regional interests at the altar of political power or suffered on account of its leaders incompetence, resulting in the sad state which the region it finds itself.
In this backdrop Rayalaseema Saguneeti Sadhana Samithi (RSSS) has initiated programs to educate the people of Rayaleema for the last five years. RSSS has organized several peaceful demonstrations through the people’s voluntary participation to put pressure on Political Parties to develop the backward region. The Snakes and Ladders game has made RSSS job of educating and enlightening the people much easier.
(* Secretary General, CIFA,President, Rayalaseema Saguneeti Sadhana Samithi)