Saarang, the annual cultural fest of IIT Madras, is the largest one of its kind student-run festival in India. Every year, Saarang hosts more than 100 events and a footfall of 70,000 from over 500 colleges.
With an ISO 9001:2008 certificate, the fest is a confluence of cultures, and the theme for Saarang 2018, “Lost Cities”, promises to be fresh and phenomenal. The festival kicks off with the Classical Night on 9th January 2019. The show will begin with an electrifying performance by the Indian Jam Project, leading the way for the enthralling voice of award-winning Carnatic Singer – Nithyasree Mahadevan.
Addressing the Press Conference on campus Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, said, “Saarang is the cultural festival of IIT Madras. More than 1,200 students working on this event. It is a great learning experience for them. It is a festival by, of and for students. The faculty are present only to help them. The event has been celebrated since around 1970s, when I was a student. Every year, it changes to suit the changing interests of the student community.”
Another feather in Saarang’s cap is the Spotlight lectures, for which the line-up includes illustrious names in a variety of fields like Ratna Pathak Shah, Dhruv Sehgal, Ashwin Sanghi, S. Soumya, Prajaktha Koli, Anu Aggarwal and Shipra Khanna to name a few. Saarang is also venturing into new avenues; Vernacular Fest, India Fest and the Film Fest add to the formidable span of interests that Saarang caters to, with a conscious effort to support and encourage niche events.
Speaking about Saarang 2019, Prof. Nandita Das Gupta, Cultural Advisor, said, “Saarang is the most important event in the cultural calendar of IIT Madras. While students from IIT are known for their technical prowess, this five-day cultural extravaganza showcases the organizational and managerial skills of the budding engineers. The enthusiastic participation of students and the high quality of the competitive as well as professional events make Saarang the premier college festival in south India“.
The night of January 10th will witness the largest inter-collegiate, semi-professional dance competition in South India, the Choreo Night. Moreover, Saarang brings the best EDM lineup with Dutch DJ and music producer Maddix as our lead act along with Adrima as the supporting act.
The fest is all set to rock the metal head crowd with contemporary Indian ensemble The Local Train opening the night on January 12th and celebrated homegrown band Parikrama taking the lead. Having set the rostrum for ace Bollywood singers, the Popular Night on January 13 is at the top of everyone’s bucket list. Benny Dayal’s band Funktuation will open the show, which also marks the release of their newest album, Funkatcheri. Bollywood maestro KK, one of the finest singers in the country will be the lead artist for the night.
Speaking about the festival, Prof M.S. Sivakumar, Dean (Students), IIT Madras, said, “As always, IITM Students make a statement through the perfection, intensity and magnitude in their action. SAARANG is one such flagship event that our students organize, regarded to be one of the biggest and celebrated student cultural festivals in the country. Come, see and enjoy yourself with the company of the those with matching cultural tastes and passions.”
Every year students run a social campaign, such as on child welfare, cancer awareness, water conservation etc. under the banner of Saarang. This year, the students are taking up a new initiative.
This year, the Saarang team has undertaken a Social Responsibility Campaign named LEAP- Learning and Education Accessibility Project which aims to create awareness about the stark reality of inequalities in access to education as a first step and to eradicate illiteracy and empower the underprivileged by bridging this gap through sustained efforts.
As part of the campaign, the team has distributed 1600 eco-friendly notebooks made from recycled paper in a Government School in Korattur, among others. The material was collected through donation boxes placed in schools across the city. The team also visited these schools and interacted with the students.