Thousands of children return home disheartened unable to render cultural programmes

Cyclone Nilam played truant at the 57th Kannada Rajyotsava Celebrations in Bangalore on Thursday as thousands of children who had come prepared to showcase their talent had to return without rendering their performances.

The programme, attended among others by Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, was restricted to Rajyotsava speeches by dignitaries followed by patriotic songs. Neither was there a march-past nor were there any cultural programme to be staged at the open air Kanteerava Stadium in Bangalore. The public instructions department called it quits soon after the stage programme was over and asked school teachers to take back students safely.

S. Leelamma, head master of Malleswaram Ladies Association (MLA) High School, Malleswaram, told The Hindu that her colleagues and she had brought 90 students from the school for the programme. While some of them were designated to welcome the dignitaries with Poorna Kumbha, which they did, others who were slated to participate in the march-past were disappointed as the march-past was cancelled, she said.

Commissioner of Pubic Instructions G. Kumara Naik told The Hindu that though the children were enthusiastic to perform cultural programmes, the department decided otherwise in the wake of constant drizzle. Safety and health of children is more important than staging cultural programmes, he said and added that the department has asked teachers to safely reach the children home.

Government achievements

Speaking at the formal function, Mr. Shettar listed out various achievements of the BJP government and said the government was committed to improve places of historical importance relating to Kannada and Karnataka.

He said, “Many places, including the place where the oldest Kannada inscription, Halmidi, was found are in the state of neglect. The government will make special efforts to preserve and improve these places.”

Stating that earmarking Rs. 10,794 crore for primary and secondary education amounted to 12.54 per cent of the 2011-12 budget, Mr. Shettar said the government strongly believed in importance to primary education. The government this year distributed 5.56 lakh bicycles to students of 8th standard while 65.12 lakh students in 56,771 schools have been the beneficiaries of the midday meal scheme.

He also listed out various programmes undertaken by the education department to raise the standards of learning. Speaking about other achievements, Mr. Shettar said commercial operations on Reach 3 of Namma Metro will start in another six months. Another 114 services will be added from November 2 to the existing 151 services under the Sakala scheme, he said.

Primary Education Minister Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri said the department has been promoting state’s rich cultural heritage by including them in the text books. Home and Transport Minister R. Ashok was present.

Protest

Meanwhile, activists of Democratic Youth Federation of India and Students Federation of India threw leaflets at the venue stating that BJP leaders had no moral right to participate in the Rajyotsava celebrations in the wake of closure of government schools. Police arrested the activists later.

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