TAMIL NADU

Kozhikode wins overall championship

KOZHIKODE, JAN. 20. Kozhikode district with 327 points bagged the overall championship, closely followed by Ernakulam (321) and Thrissur (305) districts, at the 42nd Kerala State Schools Youth Festival which concluded here today.

The Kalathilakam title was awarded to P. Parvathy of the Adoor Holy Angel's English Medium High School, Pathanamthitta, in keenly contested cultural events. She got a total of 44 points. Winning the first prizes in kathakali and fancy dress and the third prize in ottanthulla contributed to her achievement in getting the coveted title. She also attained A grades in mohiniyattom, bharatanatyam, kuchupudi and monoact.

There was no eligible candidate for the Kalaprathiba title in the boys section. However, Harish Gopi of the FACT High School, Eloor, Ernakulam, who received the highest points in the slot was given a special prize. He won the first prizes in kathakali and folk dance and second prize in bharatanatyam.

Likewise, Sarika K. Panicker of St. Joseph's High School, Koonamavu, Ernakulam, who got 48 points, was also given a special prize on the occasion.

The following are the points each district got at the five-day cultural competitions. Kozhikode - 327, Ernakulam - 321, Thrissur- 305, Kannur - 297, Palakkad-292, Kottayam-289, Malappuram-264, Thiruvananthapuram - 262, Alappuzha- 253, Kollam-251, Kasaragod- 251, Wayanad - 225, Pathanamthitta- 217 and Idukki -195 points.

This is the sixth time and second in a row that Kozhikode district was winning the overall championships in the festival and first time as a host. Around 340 students from various schools participated in 70 events and won 19 first prizes. The team manager was P.K. Surendran, the Kozhikode City Assistant Education Officer (AEO).

The Speaker, Vakkom B. Purushothaman, distributed the prizes and trophies to the winners at a function held at the Malabar Christian College grounds.

Speaking on the occasion, he said that cultural festivals should be conducted for searching the talents of the younger generation and not for the sake of demonstrating unhealthy competition between schools, teachers and parents. Talented students coming from poor families should also be given adequate financial aid to take part in the events.

``The State Government should ensure that steps are taken in this direction at least in the future,'' Mr. Purushothamam said.

Presiding over the valedictory function, the Education Minister, Nalakath Soopy, said that judges who had raised controversies with their decisions at the festival would be avoided in future.

So also steps would be taken for regulating the appeals of the decisions of the judges. The legion of appeals were creating a big problem at the festival venues. Besides creating a harmful trend among the contestants, he said.

He said that students coming from poor families would be given all help to participate in the programmes. The funds for this scheme would be collected through the video cassettes of the festival sold in all the schools in the State, he added.

The KPCC president, K. Muraleedharan, released the festival souvenir on the occasion.

The MLAs, P.K.K. Bava, T.P.M. Zaheer and A. Sujanapal, the district panchayat president, M.K. Nalini, the Kozhikode deputy mayor, P.T. Abdul Latheef, the district panchayat vice-president, Santhosh Kuruampial, and the Leader of the Opposition in the Kozhikode Corporation, P.T. Madhusoodana Kurup, offered felicitations.

The Mayor, Thottathil Raveendran, welcomed the gathering and the general convener of the festival, A. Arun Kumar, who is also the Deputy Director of Education, Kozhikode, proposed a vote of thanks.

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