A drama contest, organised by the Information and Public Relations Department, for high school and higher secondary students in Kozhikode on Friday evoked a good response, in keeping with the theatre tradition of the city.
Twelve teams from the district participated.
Unlike in earlier years, when only painting and elocution contests were conducted in connection with Gandhi Jayanthi, the department decided to hold the drama contest, considering the number of theatre connoisseurs in the city.
The Town Hall, venue of many meetings and fiery speeches during the Independence Movement, reverberated with the tunes of patriotic songs, as the plays dealt with the life and times of Mahatma Gandhi.
Bharat Mata, the National Flag and the ``charka'' (spinning wheel) were the prominent symbols. Optimism, in spite of the fall in values and principles enunciated by Mahatma Gandhi, was the running theme.
Winning a prize did not matter, but the extent of talent showcased was evident. Satire and mime were used to advantage in the plays, many of them written by the teachers or the students themselves.
Plays of Jayaprakash Kuloor and other noted playwrights were also staged.
According to District Information Officer T. Velayudhan, despite holding the event at short notice, the number of entries was encouraging.
The spontaneity of the actors, especially girls, who participated in large numbers, was commended.
The plays staged by St. Joseph's Higher Secondary School, the Government Higher Secondary School, Atholi, Kokkallur Higher Secondary School, and Payembra High School were commended for mature presentation.
The Government Model Higher Secondary School won the first place, bagging a cash prize of Rs. 10,000, for the drama Bhagat Singh.
St. Antony's Girls Higher Secondary School, Vadakara, won the second prize of
Rs. 5, 000 for the play Kalpadukal.
The prizes will be distributed at a programme to be held later.
K.T. Mohammed, playwright, who inaugurated the contest, said theatre was a mix of many art forms.
T. Suresh Babu, Sulaiman Kakkodi and Jayaraj, theatre persons, were the judges.