The venue of the Idukki Fest at Vazhathoppe received good turnout of people on the third day on Thursday with the stalls of the Forest Department, ayurveda College, Agriculture Department and the agriculture fair getting major attraction.
The fest is being organised by the district administration in association with the Idukki block panchayat and various non-governmental organisations to highlight the unique features of the district. At the counter of the forest department opened by the Social Forestry Division of the Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary, there are displays of stuffed wild animals and rare birds. The animals are displayed in an artificially created forest environment inside the specially made stall of bamboo leaves. An official at the stall said that the aim was to create awareness on wildlife and the animal behaviour to create a love for them and foster the spirit of protecting them. There are stuffed deer, wild boar, leopard, Nilgiri tahr and many other animal species.
“This is all to familiarise the young generation with wildlife,” said the official while displaying the recorded version of each animal’s behaviour and their importance in biodiversity preservation. Most of the visitors are students and it was for the first time they are seeing the wild animals and birds.
At the counter of the Kerala State Electricity Board, a miniature model of the Idukki dam is created in addition to the model set for power generation at the Moolamattom power plant. The need for restriction on power consumption is the theme of the stall and booklets on electricity production and the consumption level is distributed through it. At the stall of the Agriculture Department, the modern ways of cultivation is highlighted and there is a separate stall for vegetables.
Vegetables like carrot, beat root, tomato, potato and fruits items like apple grown in Vattavada and Kanthalloor are displayed. A stall of Zero Budget Farming also attracts crowd. A major feature of the display near the stall is the endemic varieties of cattle like Vechur and High Range Dwarf. An official of the stall explains the need for protecting the exclusive Kerala breeds of cattle for their high value of milk and the support given for Zero Budget farming. At the stall of the Indian Space Research Organisation, there are models of various Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles (PSLVs) developed by the ISRO on display. The stall of the Ham Radio has models set for its operations and the some of the early versions of wooden radios kept for display.
The stall of the Ayurveda College, Tripunithura, displays the models and the ways of treatment for various ailments. About 150 stalls are on display in addition to the specially arranged helicopter ride for the fest. The Idukki dam, which also opened for public is experiencing heavy rush with arrangements for advance booking for boat ride. The entire Cheruthoni town had a festival look after the Idukki Fest was reorganised after a gap of nearly two decades.