With no races Kumarakom boat clubs navigating in troubled waters

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Each boat club has debts ranging between Rs 18 lakh and Rs 50 lakh.

Kumarakom: Every time when the Nehru Trophy boat race is postponed, it’s the heart of Kumarakom that grieves.

With the world famous boat race being postponed for the third time, there is huge concern in the land of rowers. The boat races bring pride, joy and revenue for everyone associated with the event. But now, the clubs and their officials, who had been working day and night, are in debt.

It all started with the floods

The devastating floods of 2018 threw the Nehru Trophy boat race out of gear. The second flood caused another cancellation last year. This year, the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent restrictions are likely to cancel the race for the third consecutive year.

Leading boat clubs in distress

All four snake-boats from Kumarakom which competed in the Nehru Trophy last time had qualified for the Champions Boat League (CBL). Which meant that around 40 percent of the boats competing in CBL represent Kumarakom.

Each boat club has debts ranging between Rs 18 lakh and Rs 50 lakh. Competing in four consecutive CBL competitions could solve the financial problem, the club officials said. Boat race enthusiasts want the village panchayats to take the initiative.

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