THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state has decided to hold the school arts festival without any extravaganza. Earlier, a decision was taken to cancel the festival in the wake of the devastating floods. However, the government took a U-turn after pressure from various corners not to call off the festival.
Education Minister C Raveendranath said here on Tuesday that the festival will be conducted without any pomp. It will be held only for selecting talented children. He said that the funds allocated for the festival will be transferred to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund.
The youth festival manual committee meeting to be held on September 17 will decide whether to shift the venue from Alappuzha. Based on the discussions, a final decision will be taken on how the festival should be held. As per the current decision, the event will be a low-key affair. A decision on what all changes should be implemented and the steps to be taken for cost cutting will be taken.
“We have decided to conduct the fest in order to provide grace marks to students,” said DPI K V Mohan Kumar. “In fact, the grace marks will reflect in the results of Class X and XII exams. Though Alappuzha is still the preferred location, we may zero in on a location that has the record of conducting the fest most successfully in previous years. However, a final call will be taken next week.”
There are reports that the change in decision comes after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who is currently in the US for treatment, called up some senior bureaucrats and discussed about the possibility of holding the festival.
Principal Secretary (general administration) Biswanath Sinha had earlier released an order saying all government-sponsored festivals will be cancelled for a year. This order was signed at the behest of the Chief Minister before he left for the US and this was not brought up in the cabinet meeting.
Government sources indicated even if the festival is held without any extravaganza, the cost will be around `3-4 crore.
CM agrees with my view, says Soorya Krishnamoorthy
T’Puram:Art connoisseur Soorya Krishnamoorthy told ‘Express’ that he had received a confirmation from Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who is in the US, regarding the conduct of the state youth festival this year. “I received a text message and a call from the Chief Minister, informing that he agrees with my view and the youth festival will be conducted this year with minimum expenditure,” he said.
“There are many accompanying artists like set workers, tabla players, make-up artists and decoration artists whose entire livelihood for a year depends on such festivals, so it is important that these festivals should happen, or it will be a double blow for those artists who have already suffered a great loss in the floods,” he said. He suggested that with the assistance of private sponsorship, increasing delegate fees and cutting down expenditure, it will be possible to conduct the festival. “A substantial amount can be raised through these measures,” he said. He hinted that the Chief Minister agreed with many of his suggestions.