Alappuzha: The 59th Kerala state youth festival commenced in Alappuzha. This year, the Kalolsavam (native term referring to the state youth festival) is a low-key affair due to the recent floods in the state.

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The Kalolsavam began after 59 students lit 59 lamps on the main stage named Utharaswayamvaram. The school where the main stage is situated was one of the relief camps during the floods that ravaged the state.

Several programmes began on 29 stages in Alappuzha. For the first day, there will be competitions in 62 events. The events are being conducted without much celebration in order to reduce the cost of the government. Alappuzha is set to witness the glorious festival for the next three days.

Earlier, an order was issued by the government to cancel all the fests due to the flood situation in the state recently. It was also decided to donate the cost of these fests to the chief minister’s disaster relief fund.

The officials and ministers had convinced chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan to re-consider the decision claiming that the students will lose an opportunity to gain grace marks without Kalolsavam.