After two arduous online years, IIT Madras’ annual cultural fest Saarang is returning to its full offline glory this year and is ready to storm the campus streets. A festival that dominates the cultural scene of South India, Saarang is back with a vengeance to make three generations of students marvel at its grandeur. Saarang offers a unique platform for rising young artists and performers coming from a diverse array of art forms and interests like freestyle dance, photography, acapella, graphic designing, and stand-up comedy.
The theme for Saarang 2023 is ‘Mystic Hues’ which celebrates how deeply intertwined colours are with each and every fragment of our culture and traditions. The festival which will be held from 11th – 15th Jan 2023 is open to all college students and the general public.
One of the largest student-run festivals in India, Saarang hosts more than 100 events, attracting a footfall of over 80,000 from over 500 colleges across the country. This year celebrates the 28th anniversary of the fest.
The five-day fest is teeming with events from the Institute’s many cultural clubs, ranging from oratory and comedy to fine arts and writing and the nascent, culinary arts club. These events include competitions, workshops, and talented performances from across the world.
Another event that definitely promises to be the highlight for many is the ‘Spotlight lectures’. The esteemed lecturers set to grace the event are playback singer Karthik, actress Suma Kanakala, chef Sashi Cheliah, journalist Palki Sharma Upadhya and, Actress Revathy.
The Professional Shows too boasts an impressive lineup of well-established and up-and-coming artists alike, whose performances are sure to have the crowd singing their hearts out. Day 0 on 11th January starts with Classical Night, opened by fusion band Indosoul and headlined by singer Ramakrishnan Murthy. Choreo Night on day 1 promises to be filled with stunning performances as the stage is rocked by dance troupes from around the country. EDM Night is opened by the Russian talent DJ Krispie and headlined by Swedish EDM sensation Kaaze. Day 3 ends with the Rock Night, to be graced by bands Girish and the Chronicles and Pineapple Express. The last Proshow Night is the Pop Show, headlined by none other than the playback singer Sunidhi Chauhan.
For this year’s social cause, Saarang launched ‘Panacea’, a campaign surrounding health and hygiene awareness. Aiming to encourage healthy habits to thwart disease breakouts among other events, Panacea is inspired by the Greek goddess of universal well-being.
The five buckets under the social campaign which represent the most important facets of health and hygiene are personal well-being and fitness, environmental hygiene, public, and general health awareness, sanitation, and sexual health. A plethora of means of spreading the message of cleanliness and sanitation are underway.
The major flagship event under Panacea happens to be an informative educational video series, Aarokiyam, that is set to be launched in 500 schools across India via CDs. Aarokiyam was launched by the TN School Education Minister, Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi, and the Director of IIT Madras, V. Kamakoti.
Ranging from informative presentations in middle and high schools to fun yet educational text-based games, several initiatives are set to be released in the weeks leading up to Saarang. Other aspects of promoting Panacea include a podcast, a breast awareness campaign, and a cyclathon.
Saarang is set to have an explosive comeback with great entertainment and a commemoration of art and culture like no other. With 850 young minds working together to make Saarang the kind of magnificent phenomenon it is, the festival is not just another college fest. Rather, it is a celebration of a collective effort taken to realise a dream and make it happen.
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