Parle-The Hindu MetroPlus Pookkalam Contest sees harmony in flowers

It was a delightful collection of visually stunning flower carpets, but Team Kerala Legislative Secretariat rose above the rest and was adjudged the winner of this year’s Parle-The Hindu MetroPlus Pookkalam Contest, powered by the State Bank of Travancore. The competition, celebrating Onam, was held at the Government College for Women here on Saturday.

The winning team was captained by Jyothi Nair. M.S. Vijayan, M.R. Indu, V.R. Reena and Shaji R. Victor were its members.

The seventh edition of the competition had 51 participating teams. They were given time from 10 a.m. to half past noon to make their flower arrangements. In terms of the number of Pookkalams and the number and value of prizes, the competition has grown over the years to become the biggest such event in the city.

The team representing the State Bank of India came second, captained by Sadma and with J.T. Akhilesh, Padmakumar, Prajisha and Prathiba Vijaykumar as members.

S. Mallika led the team placed third, ‘Hastham,’ whose members were M. Vijayakumari, A.V. Janaki, S.L. Hema and K. Hema.

Additional Director General of Police B. Sandhya, who was the chief guest, handed over the prizes.

The harmony of colours, symmetry in shape and patterns that abide by tradition and attempt to add something contemporary were considered by the chief of jury, Ajayakumar, Principal, Government College of Fine Arts.

The first place winners were handed over a cheque for Rs. 20,000 and gift hampers from Parle, TTK Prestige, Kerala Tourism Development Corporation and Vismaya Sarees. A purse of Rs. 12,500 was handed over to the second-prize winners, along with gift hampers, and Rs. 7,500 plus gift hampers to the team that was placed third. Ten consolation prizes of Rs. 1,500 each were distributed. All teams were given Rs. 750 as expenses for flower procurement and gifts worth over Rs. 2,500.

The prize for the best traditionally dressed team was won by the CRPF Wives’ Welfare Association, led by Sapna Ajay Bharathan, and individual awards for traditional attire — female and male — went to S. Rajashree and Narayanan.

The afternoon’s programmes were entertaining thanks to the Parle Biscuit Crunch contest for children and women.

The presenting sponsor of the event was Parle Products. Powered by State Bank of Travancore, the associate sponsors were Kerafed, the Kerala State Social Security Mission, the Kerala State Youth Welfare Board and Dr. Yogiraj Centre for Dermatology and Cosmetology.

The gifts were sponsored by Kerala State Industrial Enterprises Ltd., TTK Prestige, Vismay Sarees, Delicious Delights, Tierra Foods, Synthite Kitchen Treasure and Keys Hotels.

The prize distribution ceremony was attended by E.K. Harikumar, Chief General Manager of State Bank of Travancore; A. Ranjith, regional sales manager of Parle Products; and Ajay Bharathan, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Central Reserve Police Force.

K.K. Joshy, Regional General Manager (Advertisements), The Hindu (Kerala), welcomed the participants. T.S. Lakshminarasimhan, Regional General Manager, The Hindu (Thiruvananthapuram), proposed a vote of thanks.