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Up and Away—Tarang’18

The Volunteer Services Organization of MAHE, Manipal and the Volunteer Services Organisation, Mangalore held their annual kite-flying festival, Tarang, at the End Point Football Ground on 25th February. The event was organised as a means to bring people together to celebrate the joy of life.

The event was organised to resemble a carnival, and it did well to bring together people from different walks of life and have them share the experience of reliving their childhood memories of flying kites. Children and adults assembled in solidarity to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE). Laxman Nimbargi, the Superintendent of Police, served as the chief guest for the festival, and Avinash Shetty, Medical Superintendent, Kasturba Hospital, was the guest of honour. Kites made by the VSO volunteers were distributed to children from slums and orphanages so that they too could partake in this grand celebration. The funds raised from the event will eventually be utilised for various rural healthcare projects organised by VSO. The event was open to the public and proved to be a success—made evident by a sky filled with colourful kites.

The event started off with children from Asare, a home for special children, and from nearby slums, flying kites against the backdrop of a clear blue sky. Guided by volunteers, children had an exciting time as they tried to keep their kites up in the air. The crowd started pouring in around 5 PM, and soon enough, the sky was painted with the colours arising from the hundreds of kites that soon found their way up in the air. Though the crowd initially complained of a dull evening, the winds soon picked up to the delight of kids and adults alike. Volunteers had their hands full—helping children who couldn’t get their kites up in the air.

Tarang had multiple games, snack stalls, photo booths, and a plethora of activities for people of all ages to choose from. There was a specific section dedicated just to kids, which boasted of seven different games that kept the children entertained. ‘The Memory Game’ and ‘Drop the Marble’ proved to be instant hits with the children. Another event to look out for was karaoke. The crowd had a good time munching delicious snacks and ice-creams at the various stalls. Chef On Wheels was the official food partner for the event and made sure no one went home—providing an ensemble of dishes ranging from chats to Chinese. The cakes and pastries proved to be the highlight of the evening. A Zumba session soon followed which had the crowd flexing their muscles and moving their feet. The instructor, with her dynamic moves and enviable zeal, soon won the group over, and the attendees danced their hearts out to the peppy Bollywood numbers.

After a brief inauguration, Avinash Shetty talked about how events such as Tarang help bring the community together. He went on to praise VSO for being one of the most vibrant social services organisation in Manipal as they contribute heavily to social causes aimed towards bettering life for the underprivileged. Around 400 people took part in this kite-flying festival, while students of Manipal Institute of Technology and members of Chords and Co performed at the event. The event also served as a social awareness campaign as various social initiatives of MAHE took part in the event, and had stalls put up. The Rotaract Club, SCIO, The Queer & Ally Network, PAW, and Lakshya were a few clubs and organisations who participated in this event to bring to life the initiative MAHE was taking to bring about a positive social change. The event ended with a DJ dishing out some retro music for about an hour, which got both adults and children excited.

The sixth edition of Tarang bore witness to the effort taken by VSO to promote social awareness and how far they have come since their inception. The flash mob organised by them a day prior at the KMC food court went a long way in gaining momentum for the event, which proved to be a tremendous success made evident by the smiles on the faces of all the attendees.

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