Sequined placards, designs in coloured chalks welcoming the parents and guests to the school’s cultural fests held in the ‘assembly hall’ are now a passé.
With corporate tie-ups and professional event managers define the new-age school carnival.
Schools have now started putting more than a modest sum of their money in the glitz and the result is evident - professional fests jazzed up with all the paparazzi bearing more than a mote semblance to a red-carpet Bollywood or Kollywood night.
The staggering budgets for these mega events prove that schools no longer take these fetes lightly. The minimum budget at a “modest” scale is now around `2 lakh.
“From props to lights to stage to shamiyana, the budget does run up as much. While the actual expenditure for the events is not as much, we end up spending a lot on trophies, invitations and other technicalities like the lights, stage- buttresses and decoration,” points out Kavya Vinod, a student who was part of the organising team of the cultural fest at Kikani School in the city. This amount might seem pocket-sized in light of the sum that some other schools have been throwing on their events.
According to Megamax, a city-based event management company, there have been instances of schools shelling out over Rs 5 lakh for a three-day cultural festival.
“They get it from sponsors like corporate houses and retail stores. Some schools don’t even need to look outside for funds as the children of prominent individuals would be studying there. Further, there are schools owned and managed by corporate business houses and families that would be more than willing to sponsor such events,” says Megamax manager and proprietor B Srikanth.
According to Hemalatha Sehsadri, the HM of PSBB Millennium, Kovai, the school culturals bring out the best of creativity in children.
“Our culturals are based on themes and it is entirely in-house. The students and teachers brain-storm and decide on the arrangements,” she says.
The parents, however, view the culturals as an opportunity to showcase beyond the talents of their offspring.