Mini India descends on Mangalore for youth fest

Number of participants exceeds expectation

The National Youth Festival will be held for the first time in the State in the coastal city of Mangalore from January 12 to 16.

Thrilled: Participants rehearse for the National Youth Festival in Mangalore, on  Wednesday.DH PhotoThe city is already looking like a microcosm of India and the inflow of participants has surpassed the expectations of the organisers.

A magnificent stage showcasing a coastal mansion or the typical coastal house overlooks the city at Mangala Stadium and seating arrangements have been made in the sprawling venue for 10,000 people.

On the eve of the 17th National Youth Festival on Wednesday, the total registration exceeded 3,500, while many more participants were yet to register.

“This is far more than what we had expected. From every State, 100 persons can participate. Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Meghalaya will not be taking part in the event. But over 800 people from Nehru Yuva Kendra and over 500 NSS members will take part. This way, 5,000 registrations are expected,” said Additional Chief Secretary K Jairaj.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, after inspecting the stage and other arrangements, the additional chief secretary said they were ready to accommodate more participants without any problems.

“Since it is for the first time that we are hosting the event, arranging for stay for so many people was difficult. But we have managed well. I have interacted with some of the participants and they expressed happiness about the accommodation and food,” said Jairaj.

Participants have been put up in 18 places across the city and food is being prepared for as many as 5,000 people per day, including the participants and officers.

He said accommodating more than 5,000 people would be a herculean task. Jairaj said the State had released a sum of Rs 10 crore for the event, while the Centre had released Rs two crore. The Central funds will be used for providing TA/DA to the participants, while the State funds are being spent on the arrangements.

“Even if the number of participants shoots up, we will not seek additional funds,” he said.

Procession

On Thursday, an elaborate procession of 50 local troupes with a minimum of 17 members in each will be taken out at 3 pm from Nehru Maidan to the programme venue.

The troupes will mainly showcase local folk art. The highlight of the procession will be 100 artistes performing ‘kombu’, ‘chende’, ‘shanka’ and ’dase’ each.

Prizes

The winners of group and individual competitions will be given prizes on January 16, during the valedictory programme, said Principal Secretary (Department of Youth Services) I R Perumal.

As many as 60 judges will decide winners of various events and 174 prizes will be given on the last day. The runners-up in the State-level competitions will get a chance to take part in the non-competitive category.

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