With the clarion call of “Fly High with Kites, Not Drugs” mobilizing a crowd no less than five thousand spanning all age groups and backgrounds in Manipal, VSO’s 8th annual kite festival, Tarang was a roaring success!
Every year Tarang comes up with a unique theme and campaign for social awareness among the students and the general public residing in Manipal. This year was no different! In an attempt to play its’ part in making India a Drug Free Nation, the volunteers collected pledges from everyone, spurred on by the Heads of Institutions. The Hashtag #DrugFree_NewIndia was created as a part of their social media campaign. Forms were circulated and signed by numerous students and staff in and around Manipal. All proceeds go to charity and to continue and sustain efforts in community empowerment programs that VSO conducts.
The festival kicked off at around 4 in the evening, with people young and old pouring into the End Point Football Grounds. The evening blues were filled with colorful kites were in people of all the age groups were seen actively participating in unleashing the kites, a few experienced fliers went on to compete amongst themselves trying to see whos kites soared higher with a couple even trying to cut off the others kite. Young children running around trying to get their kites to fly were a cute sight to see. In a new addition, some kites were fastened to Helium Balloons. Everywhere you saw, the organizers had put up something or the other. There were cultural performances at the stage with local bands like Heika, Symphony and Chords & Co putting up performances. The Special Children of Asare and Karunya, and the Dancers of the Dramebaaz Company also performed for the crowd. The Kids Zone was teeming with activity for the kids to engage themselves in a vivid array of games and activities such as art competition, face painting, Mehendi, Let’s go Nuts, Snakes and Ladders, Balloon Balance, Photobooth and a lot more.
“Tarang is an event that attracts families. What do the kids do when they can’t fly kites? We need something to keep them entertained! That was the idea behind the Kids’ Zone and we’ve been doing it for the past 3 years. This year, we stepped it up with very unique games and activities, and I personally am very happy with what we came up with,” mused Vijay Acharya, a Volunteer of VSO. There was a Photobooth and lots of decor made by the Clean Manipal Campaign Team with waste collected over the months. To top it all off, there was a Food Hub put up by the Sponsor, Hidden Woods.
Mahesh Poojary, from DOC put together a pop-art of Tarang made of Rubics’ Cube giving a different vibe to the event! The Open for all event was one to remember. Aneesh Shetty of MCHP, the Coordinator of the event remarked, “Reaching out to the populace of Udupi, Manipal and Mangalore and garnering a crowd of over 5000, making this the biggest Tarang so far was no mean feat! The Volunteers of VSO Manipal and Mangalore meticulously planned out, worked on and executed every bit. We have received upwards of ten thousand pledges and this is just the first step in a drug free India! Awareness Programs like this are very important to encourage and guide youth onto the right path. Being youngsters ourselves, I’m very proud to have played my part!”