To win lauds during the fests is the reason why various societies, as well as the Organising Committees invest months of hard work and dedication in preparation, but all these efforts can turn futile if there is a tiff between the participants and the organisers. The latest case in point is Engifest – an annual three day extravangza organised by Delhi Technological University (DTU).
While a look at the Facebook page of Engifest boasts of successful completion, the testimonies of the participants of Pradhan – fashion show completion says otherwise.
All the participating teams were asked to report at 1pm as the show was to begin at 3:30, however due to the mismanagement of the organisers, it commenced at 5:30 pm. To make the matters worse a sponsored event “Campus Princess” was added in between the ongoing competition which went on for 1 hour. Later in the day, Paridhan was again interrupted with the performance by Lagori Band. All these additional activities stretched the competition till late at night and this caused many teams to back out. Clearly, preference was given to other things besides the “cordially invited” teams.
Tanisha, President of Galore, fashion society of Maitreyi College said, “The organisers told the remaining teams that the show will resume only after the band gives their whole performance as a result of which all the performers had to wait for another couple of hours. Maitreyi is an all-girls college. We told DTU’s coordinators that it’ll be tough for us to travel back alone after 9 PM, but no solution came to action.”
No Green rooms, arbitrary slot allotment and technical glitches
The very basic requirement of a green room to change into outfits, set hair-makeup and props is a must, but Delhi Technological University failed in providing that too. Sanya Sood, President of Poise – fashion society of Indian Institute of Home Economics affirms that, “There were no green rooms. Being an all-girls team we asked for a proper room, but weren’t given any. We’ve never faced this kind of treatment before.”
Somehow the participants got ready and started with their performance, only to encounter another problem: the essential spotlights and the audio won’t work. “There was no lightning during our performance and no volume during our voiceover”, Hitesh from Finesse – The Fashion Society of Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies deplored.
Sarthak Kathuria, President of IVogue, fashion society of Sri Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce resonated the same sentiment, “We were performing when the music stopped, we waited on stage hoping that someone would fix the technical glitch, but no avail. Meanwhile the indecent elements in the crowd started passing lewd comments. After a point it became unbearable and we had to get off the stage.”
Inconvenience is one thing, but disrespect is a whole new deal altogether. Everyone can deal with minor disruptions, but when organisers pretend that nothing is going wrong that’s when the situation becomes problematic.
When the DTU management announced that the fashion show has been postponed to accommodate the performance by Lagori Band, the participating teams rebelled against this decision. Within seconds a heated arguments flared up. The remaining teams agreed not to perform and asked the DTU coordinators for a public apology and compensation by dividing the cash prize.
Tanisha Sharma, President of Galore, fashion society of Maitreyi College alleged that, “The Professor and the coordinators didn’t listen to a word we said. Instead they made fun of our situation and also threatened us to leave the college premises. What’s more deplorable is that one coordinator who was drunk offered money to our participant and misbehaved.”
Sarthak Kathuria, President of IVogue, fashion society of Sri Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce conceded by adding that, “Harsh Kapoor, a member of our group was threatened while defending Kunica, a participant from Maitreyi College.”
In defense of DTU
Talking to DU Beat, the Cultural Council of DTU maintained that the allegations of misbehavior are false and baseless. Responding to the accusations of not providing green rooms and addressing technical glitches, they asserted that, “There was no compromise with lights. Only a minor power failure occurred during the performance of Sri Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce. We tried our best to fix the glitch as soon as possible, but decision to stop the performance midway was made by the IVogue at their own discretion.”
DTU did admit that the allocation of the green rooms did take some time, but reasoned by saying, “We had to look for new rooms because the portable green rooms became inhabitable due to heat. Finally the teams were allotted air conditioned classrooms in the electrical block.” They also added that the fashion show was delayed as a result of two factors – teams arriving late and green rooms getting shifted.
In this situation where there are equally convincing and conflicting narratives, it not just hard but almost impossible to conclude which side is at the fault. When college fests are increasingly becoming all about star nights, it is often that the concerns of participating teams are trivialized. On the other hand, the participants do not take cognizance of the ceaseless and pressure the over-worked organizers face or make vexatious demands.
Ideally, there should a mutual understanding between both the parties and judging by this incident we can tell that the absence of understanding turns fests into a regrettable experience.
Image credits: Enigfest, DTU (Facebook Page)