KOCHI: A festive mood descended on the city with the 31st Ernakulam Revenue District School Festival which got underway on Wednesday. If last year’s festival began with a colourful procession, the district administration had minimised the celebrations this year as part of its cost-cutting measure.
On the first day of the three-day event, items such as mohiniyattom, bharatanatyam, oppana, drama and mappilapattu were staged. Students showcased their talents at the fest and joined the rhythm of the festival. A participation of 5,000 students in over 200 categories in the HS and HSS levels were marked.
Meanwhile, the organisation drew flak from several quarters as the programmes started two hours late from its scheduled time. “We arrived from Kasargod early in the morning and all classrooms at the venue were closed. We had to wait for almost two hours and the venues are far away” said Preman N, who accompanied his son for attending the event.
Whereas Josepet Jacob, programme convenor, said not much delay has taken place. “There were some issues regarding the curtains at some stages, so events began a bit late. Otherwise all the programmes started on time,” he said. When the curtains came down on the first day, Ernakulam topped in both HS and HSS categories with 163 and 152 points respectively, followed by Mattancherry and Muvattupuzha. Though last years toppers Aluva and North Paravur began on a high note, they were relegated to the fourth position in both categories.
As many as 15 appeals in the higher secondary category and 21 in the high school segment were received on the first day.There also arose opinions from several parents and teachers regarding the stage arrangements for drama. “They should have provided a much spacious stage.
Drama is always neglected compared to other stages provided for mohiniyattom and bharatanatyam. Students had difficulties in arranging the properties and changing them on stage,” said Geetha Devi, a parent. Around 90 volunteers from the Govt Girls HSS attended to the needs and requirements of parents and guests at the festival. Each stage had around 13 NSS volunteers too.