The 'tyre game' is still very popular among the children in the Teesta river char (landmass emerging from riverbed) areas of the district although some of them have started playing other games.
Rejected tyres of motorcycles and bicycles have traditionally been used to play the game, locally called "Tyre game".
Nasrin Akhter, who works for development of the people in Char Dawabari, told this correspondent that around 90 percent of the children aged below 12 play 'tyre game,' those above 12 years play ha-du-du and gollachhut while a few children play football, but cricket and other expensive games are not seen in the char.
“It isn't possible for the char children to buy cricket bat and ball, football and other sports accessories due to financial constraint, so they play games that don't need expensive equipment,” said Nasrin, who works for a non-governmental organisation.
Hamidul Islam, 48, of Char Sholmari in Kaliganj upazila, said he bought two rejected motorcycle tyres for Tk 120 from the mainland for his two sons who have been playing in their leisure time for the last one year. “Our children like to play tyre game,” he said, adding that char people cannot afford to buy sports equipment for their children.
Hamidul's son Sabuj Ali, 6, said he plays tyre game with his elder brother Mobarak Ali, 8, and neighbouring children every day.
“I play tyre game before and after school,” said Mobarak, a student of Class II at a local school.
Aktarul Islam, 45, of Char Khatamari in Sadar upazila, said he also played tyre game in his childhood with bicycle tyre but now the children use motorcycle tyres. “Tyre game is traditional in our char and our children get great pleasure playing it,” he added.
Nur Islam, 13, said they play ha-du-du and run races during their leisure and sometimes they also play football. “We don't get football and other sports equipment easily in the char, so we play the games that don't need expensive equipment,” he said, adding that he reads in Class VII in a mainland school.
Schoolteacher Majidul Islam, 55, at border village Jawrani in Hatibandha upazila, said children in the border and remote villages played tyre game a few years ago, but now this has changed and they play modern games, especially cricket.
“The tyre game is still played by the char children, along with other traditional games like ha-du-du, gollachhut and chenku panti,” Majidul said.