THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: At a fleeting glance, the trio would pass off as a studious lot, preparing for an impending exam. Huddled together on the verandah of the school, with books splayed open in front of them, the three classmates were, in fact, savouring their last moments of being part of the school fest. They indulged in cheerful banter, enjoying every moment of the festive aura that seeped into them. “This is our last year at school and there won’t be school fests again. So we are pretty excited,” says Shalabha S, a student of Government GHSS, Pattom. The other two contestants, Anamika G and Bhadra Anil, echo the same sentiment, while also maintaining that it is all about participation and not just about bagging the first place.
On Tuesday, the stage was set for a grand visual extravaganza as the Revenue District School Fest began in the capital. The day, which started with literary and art competitions such as essay and painting competitions, gradually picked up pace. City residents are in for a visual treat as thousands of students are participating in the greatest battle the schools and students prepare themselves for.
In all, there are 12 venues at Government Model Boys HSS, Chalai; Government Central HS, Attakulangara; Government Tamil VHSS, Chalai, and Government HS, Chalai; the old DDE Office; and CMAT Hall, Attakulangara. “The programmes are taking place according to the schedule and, like last year, the green protocol is being followed with plastic materials stopped at the entrance itself”, says Anil Venjarammoodu, convenor, programme committee.
Government Model Boys HSS, Chalai, was witness to frenzied activities since morning. While some of them buried themselves in preparations ahead of the competition, some renewed friendship with their competitors and celebrated the event. For Class VIII student Shibina S, the fest is her maiden attempt. “I am very excited to be here. It is like a festival for us and it brings immense pride to be here representing my school. We will be performing a group song in Arabic. We learnt the whole song through YouTube,” says Shibina. ‘Environment’ was the reigning theme at the festival with the topic resonating not just in terms of competitions but also as topics the children tried to master themselves in.
Medical team on duty
Medical teams and ambulances stand ready at each venue to address the needs of the students. Although Day One did not see many students seeking help, the medical team is braced to deal with all sorts of emergencies, the commonest being that of losing consciousness.
“What we normally see during such competitions are cases of fainting and vomiting. The most affected are the students performing in dance competitions and they often faint after their performance. The tension coupled with skipping of breakfast is the main reason,” says Siraj M, a nurse who is part of the medical team.