Inflation has been hurting the spirit of participants in the youth festivals.
The number of colleges in the Bathinda zone of the Punjabi University Patiala has increased from 15 to 52 in last one decade but number of participant have gradually decreased in youth festivals for the top three star events Giddha, Bhangra and Drama.
Bhangra was the concluding event at the three day long Regional Youth Festival (Bathinda Zone) of Punjabi University Patiala organized at the Fateh College for women. However, there were only 4 Bhangra teams from the 52 colleges to complete to fight for first three positions.
13 teams participated in the Giddha competitions held on first day of the youth festival. Similarly there was only 8 team participated in the Drama competitions. Numbers of participants were same around 10 years back for all these competitions.
"Giddha, Bhangra and Drama have remained the main event during the youth festivals in Punjab. Participants as well as audience were always enthusiastic about these events. Around 10 years back, when there were only 15 colleges in Bathinda zone, number of teams participating in the Giddha, Bhangra and Drama were never less than 10. But now when colleges have increased by 10 times, the number of teams for these popular competitions have come down," Said Gurjit Mann, youth coordinator in government Rajindra College.
Even the 13 teams in Giddha competition cannot be taken as enthusiastic as the number of women colleges have also flourish in private sector in last 10 years.
"It is very costly to prepare a team of Giddha, Bhangra and Drama in this age if inflation. If you want to raise a good team of Giddha, Bhangra and Drama, the average expenditure will touches around Rs. 2 lakh. We had participated in Giddha during last year. But expenditure of Rs. 70,000 imbalanced our budget for youth activities. So this time we decided to stay away from Giddha competitions," said a teacher of private college from Bathinda.
It is interesting that private colleges are more selective to not participate in these competitions.
Interestingly, Government Rajindera College Btahinda was one of the few colleges participated in the all three competitions of Giddha, Bhangra and Drama. It also made Rajindra college to win overall general trophy at the Youth festival with 72 points. College also won the overall theater trophy.
Government Barjindra college Faridkot won runner up trophy. Both Government colleges have been facing swear shortage of grants but still proved best when it come to completing with private colleges.