Onam in Bengaluru low-key this year

Onam will be a toned-down affair this year in Bengaluru. As Kerala struggles with rehabilitation efforts in the aftermath of deadly floods, most Malayali Associations here have cancelled or muted their festivities.

Kerala Samajam, which has been around for 78 years, has nine zones across the city and has always celebrated the festival with much grandeur.

But this year all the celebrations have come to a halt, says Reji Kumar, general secretary of Kerala Samajam.

“We were supposed to start our festivities after September 9 but we have cancelled these in zones like Ulsoor, City, Cantonment, KR Puram, Whitefield, Malleswaram, Peenya and Magadi Road. We might conduct the event in the East Zone as we intend to host a mass wedding there,” says Reji Kumar.

“Most of our programmes have sponsors and we have requested them to contribute to the relief fund instead, which they have agreed to. We will also be contributing Rs 10 lakh to the Kerala Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. We have sent 11 trucks of relief material already and plan to send more,” he says. 

Karnataka Nair Service Society’s Onam celebrations, scheduled to be held in 38 zones across Karnataka, have also been called off.   

“Celebrations include musical events, flower carpet competitions and so on. The expenditure on these can range from Rs 5 to 10 lakhs per zone. These programmes have been cancelled and we have asked all the zones to contribute to the relief fund,” says Ramachandran Paleri, chairman of Karnataka Nair Service Society.  

“We handed over a DD of Rs 10 lakh to the Kerala Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, on Wednesday,” he adds.   

Kalavedi, Indiranagar had already paid an advance amount of Rs 1.5 lakh for their Onam celebrations but called off the function in a show of solidarity with the flood-affected people in Kerala.

Balakrishnan P V N, secretary of Kalavedi, says,”We called an emergency committee meeting and cancelled the event. Most of our members hail from areas that have been deeply affected and it is easy for us to relate to the pain and trauma the people there are going through. Our managing committee members have decided to contribute Rs 2 lakh towards the state’s relief fund. If the members are interested in contributing more, we will collect it and send it again.”

He adds, “We coordinated with Kerala Samajam to send trucks of relief material to Kerala. We are also using our premises for stocking relief material and
contributing them through trustworthy channels.” 

Socio-cultural organisation Kairalee Kala Samithi, HAL, has cancelled the Onam programmes, supposed to be held on September 15 and 16. 

“Arrangements had already been made but we cancelled everything. We sent Rs 5 lakh to Kerala’s relief fund. A second cheque of the same amount will be sent soon,” says P K Sudhish, general secretary of Kairalee Kala Samithi.

“We have already sent a truckload of relief material, including clothes and food, to Kerala and will be sending another one soon,” he adds.  

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Onam in Bengaluru low-key this year

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