The event was the district-level Continuing Education Cultural Festival for students of fourth, seventh, and tenth class equivalency classes, and ‘preraks’ or instructors.

Usually, they meet on Sundays to study. But this Sunday, music and dance took over.

The event was the district-level Continuing Education Cultural Festival for students of fourth, seventh, and tenth class equivalency classes, and ‘preraks’ or instructors.

Winners at the block/muncipality/panchayat-level from across the district enthusiastically took part in 12 cultural events at the festival, hosted by the government school, Attakkulangara.

The fete was organised by the district panchayat and the District Literacy Mission.

Group events

According to the mission’s district co-ordinator Deepa James, this year many people participated in group competitions as there are talks about introducing grading system, where the overall participation of the student in both academic and cultural activities is taken into account.

B. Ambili and her team members from Parassala panchayat had taken full advantage of the hartal called on Thursday by a political party to perfect their dance steps. In fact, they had travelled all the way to Pothencode to get the costumes. Dressed in a silk shirt and mundu, R. Shibu, a lineman with the Kerala State Electricity Board, ushers his team to a room to prepare for the group song.

“Our team will participate in most of the group items. Hopefully, by winning a few, we can add to our cultural achievements list,” said Shibu, a tenth class equivalent student. Though they had been practising for a month, the members could hardly hide their nervousness when the public address system announced their numbers.

“Though the mission has allotted Rs.25,000 for the festival, a major portion of the expense is being met through donations. Most participants spend from their pockets for costumes and other necessary articles. They do not want to miss out on the few opportunities to showcase their talents,” said Krishnan Nair, 78, who is actively involved in the mission since its inception.

The winners of the festival will participate in the State-level festival to be held in September at Alappuzha, literacy mission sources informed here.