A commendable effort to provide accommodation to one and all


The local municipality has overcome limitations, with planning and public participation

Tens of thousands of people come every day for the State School Arts Festival, as contestants, their companions or spectators.

Accommodating so many people can be a challenge, more so for a town like Kanhangad. This is the first time in a couple of decades that the festival is being held in a small town with very few hotels. It was no surprise to see all of them completely booked for the four days of the festival months in advance.

However, the Kanhangad municipality seems to have overcome some of the limitations, with planning and public participation. The reception committee for the festival has ensured that no contestant or their companion will have trouble finding accommodation in the town.

The first step was to find schools that could accommodate a large number of students. “We have five schools that accommodate girls and six for boys. There are five schools in reserve just in case of an emergency,” said Rajesh Palayi, convener of the reception committee.

The surprise element, however, comes from the public, who have taken the festival to heart. “Many families came forward voluntarily to accommodate at least one participant and his or her parents. They will treat the visitors as guests and offer all services free of cost,” Mr. Palayi said.

It was municipal chairman V.V.Rameshan who gave directions to the council members well in advance to identify willing families for the purpose in their respective ward.

However, several organisations and individuals came forward offering houses to accommodate the participants.

“The five National Service Scheme units of the Nehru Arts and Science College, Kanhangad, have around 50 volunteers willing to accommodate the participants in their houses. The Neeleswaram unit of the Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad offered 12 houses. The municipal chairman himself is accommodating a sizeable team from Palakkad in various houses in his ward,” Mr.Palayi said.

The reception committee has also some houses in reserve to use during dire situations. This is more than what could be expected from a town of around 2 lakh people.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 2:19:51 PM |

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