Published: 05th January 2022
IIT Madras' annual fest Saarang will be held virtually for second year running. Here's what you need to know
Some key personalities who will be a part of the annual festival include Aditi Ashok, an Olympic golfer, Sowmya S, a Carnatic musician; and Anand Gandhi, a film director
Indian Institute of Technology Madras will hold its annual festival online for the second year in a row, and that is not pulling down the celebratory spirit of students and faculty alike. The institute is set to host Saarang from January 6 to 9 - the festival is now in its 27th year.
A team of around 800 students has been working for nearly a year on various events in the run-up to the main event — expected to attract thousands of participants on virtual platforms. The main theme for the event this year is ‘Lores and Legacies’. Saarang undertakes a social cause every year and the focus this year will be on mental health where a team of psychiatrists and psychologists will be interacting with the students. This is in continuation of last year where the initiative was held under the name 'Mann', this year it will be called Mann 2.0.
Talking about the fest, on January 5, IIT M Director Bhaskar Ramamurthi, said, “Due to these very unusual times, this is the second year in a row that our students are conducting virtually both the cultural and technical festivals. Nevertheless, from last year’s experience, students have shown that a new paradigm does not necessarily mean that you have a festival that is lacking in spirit, participation or quality.”
Ramamurthi added that though most of the festival is virtual, events where participation is small may be held in-person for those who are on campus depending on government guidelines at the time. It is noteworthy that the Tamil Nadu government declared a complete lockdown on Sunday, later in the day.
Some key personalities who will be a part of the annual festival include Aditi Ashok, an Olympic golfer, Sowmya S, a carnatic musician; and Anand Gandhi, a film director. Highlighting the unique events of Saarang-2022, IIT M Dean (Students) Nilesh Vasa said, "Students have organized events including workshops and shows concerning choreo, classical arts, fine arts, musical activities, oratory and word games, among others. I am sure the festival will bring people together."
The institute's Faculty Advisor (Cultural) Arshinder Kaur said, "The good thing about virtual events is that we are going global. IIT Madras has witnessed many exchange students in the past. Online portal has given a chance to connect to a wider audience." The festival will also include music performances by renowned artists during 'Indie Night', ‘Rock Night’ and 'Carnatic Night'.