iconimg Sunday, March 29, 2015

Mehakdeep Grewal , Hindustan Times
Patiala, October 05, 2013
The fourth successive 'Baal mela' a two-day talent hunt programme got underway in Mandour village 20kms from Patiala on Sunday.
This festival provides a podium for the rural students to showcase their talent and earn appreciation. The students exhibited their talent in every field including, poetry, stand up comedy, singing, skit, drama, fold dance etc. From taking pot shots on the politicians, raising current problems of Kala kacha gang to drug addiction, the tiny tots touched every social issue in various themes.

Competitions based on physical endurance and team spirit were also conducted.

Prabhjot Kaur student of the host school said, "We started preparing for this competition two months back. This event gives us an opportunity to exhibit our talent in front of a large gathering which motivates us to perform better."

Started in the year 2010, when only 34 schools participated, this years it has a total of 150 government schools participating, from six districts including, Patiala, Sangrur, Fazilka, Fategarh Sahib, Barnala and Ropar which also reflects the popularity of the event.

Its an initiative taken by Sikhiya Vikas Manch and teachers of government schools without taking any help from the government to provide a platform to the students.

The annual event is held at an estimated cost of Rs. 3.5 lakhs, which is raised purely on contributions from the pockets of teachers along with panchayats, said organiser of the event Jatindervir Singh, a primary government teacher.

"We do not take funds from the government for we want to ensure transparency in the competitions and make the event children-centric," he added.

Government primary school Rattoke, located 30Kms from Sangrur city has been bagging the final trophy from past the three years in this event.

The village where the event is held, provides, food and lodging to the students at the gurdwaras.