March 7, 2006

Speed Stacks: Sport and Livelihood

Filed under: Miscellaneous, Sports — Mahen @ 1:05 pm

You might have heard about the book business @ the speed of thought by Bill Gates. Here’s a sport @ the speed of thought—Speed Stacks! I was spell bound when I accidentally had a look at this sport in one of the news channels yesterday. A kind of sport to enhance hand-eye coordination.

What is this sport stacking all about? You have 12 cups and you have to stack and unstack those cups in some sequence, of course at abnormal speed. What’s the benefit of this sport? Well, you become ambidextrous, increased hand-eye coordination, the ability of your hand to respond to your brain’s orders swiftly, quick reflex, and not to mention the FUN. More on Sport Stacking

Wait a moment. Didn’t this sport relate to someone’s livelihood? Have you ever heard of Sivakasi (often called as the kutty Japan of India) and its matchstick manufacturing industry? An industry well known and despised for using child labors.

Have you ever witnessed poor children stacking matchsticks in racks at abnormal speed to make it ready for the dipping process (a process where a rack of matchsticks is dipped into the match head chemical)?

If so, you might be able to see how a different form of Speed Stacks with matchsticks have become the livelihood of a few poor children who otherwise should have been to schools and enjoying their childhood. Perhaps, the situation might have changed now. Thanks to the social marketers for trying to eliminate child labor. Still, it’s heart-racking  to know how a sport in one part of the world have for long been the livelihood in another and continues to be so.



  1. Here are some links that I believe will be interested

    Comment by wipegut — August 9, 2006 @ 9:59 am

  2. sdfd

    Comment by asdf — September 26, 2006 @ 11:01 pm

  3. Well said…

    Being a Sivakasian myself, I can tell you for sure that the Child labour is gone in this industry as most of the industry are now manufacturing matches using machines for mass production….

    Comment by Raam Kumar — November 15, 2006 @ 5:14 pm

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