Cooking, fashion make this fest special

The premises of L’ecole Chempaka were bustling with activity on Sunday morning. Young musicians were crooning and strumming away on the stage of the school’s assembly ground while budding artists sat engrossed in their work in shaded spots of the basketball court. Chempaka was hosting their annual interschool competitions, with participants from seven schools in the city competing in about eight competitions.

“But what sets our event apart is the cooking and fashion show competitions,” said Varsha Renjit of Class XI, one of the coordinators of the event. “The students of our school have brought utensils from their homes for the competition. One boy even brought an oven and the first person to qualify for the second round earns the privilege of baking during it.”

While pots and pans waited for participants to cook their way to victory in ‘Les Gourmets’, newspapers were the weapons of choice for those battling it out for ‘Project Runway’ – the fashion show. Students had to design outfits, the theme being ‘Tribals’, and ready their models to walk the ramp in the given time.

A crane made of used plastic bottles and a large metal drum converted into a face were among the sculptures that were placed for ‘Gallery Award’ – where participating schools had to set up ‘art galleries’ using sculptures, paintings and pencil sketches already made by their students.

“This is different from Brush it Up - the painting competition, where the topic is given on the spot,” clarified Reshmy Rajana Johns of Class IX, one of the volunteers.

Among other off-stage events was ‘Future Project’, where students had to design a new port for Vizhinjam harbour. Young architects used all the thermocol, chart paper and other scraps at their disposal to design the roads, buildings, solar panels, wind mills and LED lights to give form to their vision of the future harbour.

“This is in keeping with the spirit of ‘Emerging Kerala’,” said Samyuktha Thankachy, a class IX student, who emceed the competition.

The day-long event was inaugurated by Mumbai-based Malayali artist Bose Krishnamachari who spoke on the many faces of art. The classic rock band Ground Zero performed in the evening.

Speaking to presspersons, he said the State government has released Rs five crore each to eight Naxal-infested taluks in the State. As many as 16 development work has already been sanctioned. The officials from the police, revenue, ITDP and social welfare departments will hold a joint survey for 10 development work in 11 villages. A meeting was convened under the chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner Dr N S Channappa Gowda in this regard on Monday.

The joint survey is being carried out to ensure that there was no misuse of funds meant for the development of Naxal- infested areas. The work on roads and drains have been taken up in Naravi, Kuthloor, Kukkaje, Shirlali, Aladangadi, Mithabagilu, Malavanthige, Nada, Indabettu. The work on health centre at Yelaneer has begun. Five more roads will be developed in Yelaneer, he added. As many as 13 persons from Naxal-infested areas have been selected as teachers.

The DC has released Rs 41 lakh to take up development work under Calamity Relief Fund. The ITDP will distribute solar lamps, provide financial assistance to repair houses and take up self-employment training programmes in 11 villages at an estimated cost of Rs 95 lakh.

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