It is that time of the year when college students from the city and outside flock to the Indian Institute of Technology – Madras’ lovely campus. ‘Saarang,’ the annual cultural festival hosted by the institution, is here.

The extravaganza will be held between January 21 and 25, and this edition promises to be particularly interesting with U.S.-based Skid Row and Sweden-based Hammerfall being part of the rock show.

The Saarang professional shows have, over the years, seen some of the best artists in the country perform at the Open Air Theatre. This year, the ‘Classical Nite’ would be held on January 21 featuring vocalist M. Balamuralikrishna and Daksha Seth Dance Academy represented by Isha Sarvani.

The light music show on January 24 promises to be an interesting treat with the Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy trio set to entertain film music buffs. The ‘Saarang Village’ seeks to complement the fest with a rustic appeal and showcase ethnic crafts, cuisine and culture of rural India.

‘Saarang Essence,’ a three-day youth summit, would bring some of the best minds in the country in an attempt to find creative solutions in the area of policy making.

The 24 short-listed “change makers” would have the unique opportunity of developing their knowledge and skills and giving vent to their passions, as they debate and discuss the governance problem via participatory workshops, interactive discussions, model-building exercises, a field visit and lectures by eminent thinkers, a press release said.

The final day of the summit would culminate in STEP, an open public policy debate among participants, media experts, NGO representatives, civic bodies and other stakeholders. Participants will be divided into groups and will use the inputs they receive during the summit to present a solution to a micro governance problem posed to them. The best solution will be rewarded.

The ‘Habitat Young Visionary Award’ is an attempt to encourage students to be the change they wish to see. Saarang 2010 would be the platform for about 10 semi-finalists to present and defend their vision in the presence of an eminent jury. Winners would get an all-expense paid summer programme to Cambridge, U.K. or an internship at the National Geographic, Hong Kong.

‘Saarang Ethos’ would be an effort to showcase the cultural face of India. Apart from handicrafts put up on sale, craftsmen will demonstrate their art and let visitors try their hands as well.

As part of the popular and cultural lecture series, speakers from diverse fields will address important issues. Speakers include actor Kamal Haasan, director Gautam Menon, former Union Minister Arun Shourie, Sufi singer Kavita Seth, Mohiniattam dancer Neena Prasad, vocalist Bombay Jayashri, art director Sabu Cyril and dancer Oopali Operajita.

For details, visit: http://limata.com/saarang.aspx.

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Workshops & EducationMay 14, 2012