IIT Madras was established in 1959 with a vision to strive continuously for excellence in education, research and technological service to the nation. Towards realising this vision and to nurture creativity, competitive spirit, a fine sense of aesthetics and appreciation of various arts among our youth, Saarang, IIT Madras’s annual festival is organized every year to provide a unique and matchless platform.
This time around, Saarang is going to be held from the 6th to the 10th of January. Themed as “The Grand Voyage”, it promises to be a Journey of a Lifetime. It promises to be more exciting than ever before with artists with Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Rukmini Jayakumar, Vishal-Shekhar, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and DJs from Mars ready to set the stage on fire.
Saarang means many things to many people. To the student organisation, it showcases their exceptional organisational capabilities. To the audience, it is an experience of a lifetime. To all the participants, it is an opportunity to compete with the best of their peers across the country.
We believe that Saarang connects the student fraternity like no other place. For almost everyone associated with the fest, these five days seem like bliss. In the words of L.S.Ganesh, ex-Dean of Students, IIT Madras, “When a first or second-year student is exposed to an organizational structure as intricate as in Saarang, it gives them tremendous educational value and professionalism. Students also get to work in an uncertain environment, and dealing with this becomes a very important experience and makes them more mature. There have been instances of the fest becoming the basis of one’s life. That is the strength of Saarang; it’s certainly uncommon but noteworthy.”
Other than just being a cultural festival, Saarang also takes pride in contributing to the welfare of the society and has been doing so for the past few years. The continued disparity in the society, especially illiteracy and child labour continues to cripple the equilibrium of the social milieu. Saarang’s social campaign for 2015-16 is “Sukriti”, prima facie supporting the cause of child welfare.
Supporting the cause of underprivileged children, Saarang participated in the MAD Backathon marching with #WeCare posters to show concern towards people in need. ‘Give Me A Sign’, a citywide treasure hunt to help the cause of autistic children was held in association with Saarang. These events saw great turnouts and the message reached out to a lot of people.
A few weeks after this, 75 students from a remote village spent a day in the luscious campus of IIT Madras. The Cultural Clubs conducted various workshops for these children. Finally, they were treated to a soul-enriching lecture and demonstration by one of the most distinguished professors of IIT Madras, Dr. T.S. Natarajan. By the end of the interaction, the kids were left in awe and reverence.
Next on the cards is “Paint for Change”, an initiative through which Saarang aims to gather the attention of the general public towards the lack of infrastructure and facilities for children studying in low-income schools and those of child homes with insufficient funds. The major plan is to organise a community event where the general public along with the Saarang team paints these schools. Also, all proceeds from the Choreo Night at Saarang will be given away to charity as it has always been done every year.
In light of the havoc and devastation caused by the recent deluge in Chennai, Saarang plans to have a fundraiser during the festival. The Music Fest will now be a charity event and all proceeds will be given away to help in relief and rehabilitation. Saarang wishes to show the nation that Chennai is as strong as it was and it can help uplift the mood of the populace of Chennai.
Saarang isn’t just a fest. It’s a way of life. For us, it is a lot more than just a cultural festival. It is an opportunity for the youth to express themselves and give back to the society. It is a celebration of life and humanity.
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