Organizers have decided to raise money through crowd funding.

Kerala hosts Asias biggest kayaking festival and it needs your support
news Thursday, June 23, 2016 - 19:42

When Manik Taneja started a crowdfunding campaign three days ago, it was out of the strong belief that Asia’s biggest kayaking festival should go on.

Malabar River Festival that began in 2013 is a three-day event conducted on Iruvanhipuzha and Chalipuzha rivers in Kerala.

Following the success of all three editions of the annual river festival, the organisers are all set to conduct the festival in the fourth consecutive year. 

However, for the festival organizers who are looking to expand the festival “from something not many people know about” to the largest in the world, more than one factor seems to be acting against them.

Speaking to The News Minute, Manik said that though the Calicut district administration had been supportive of the festival, the delay in settling payments have always been a cause of worry.

They have decided to raise money through crowd funding after the tourism department failed to settle the prize money due to the athletes from the previous year’s event.

“Despite our persistent enquiries, we have not received a satisfactory explanation as to why there is delay in settling the payment. Every time they would ask for a different document to be submitted. Tired of the hassle, I filed an RTI last month, asking for specific files in order to know what exactly the delay is,” Manik said.

An architect by profession, 38-year-old Manik, a resident of Bengaluru, has been a certified white-water kayak instructor for the last three years. After discovering the possibility of conducting the river festival in Kerala, he trained many local residents in the sport that has not been explored much in the state.

While the prize money from 2015 is still due, the organisers have still not heard from the Kerala tourism department over this year’s proposal to organise the festival. Having decided to not rely on government funding, the organisers are now trying to keep the festival going, despite the financial crunch.

“From Rs 15 lakhs earlier, this time we have brought down the expenditure to 5 lakh,” Manik said. The crowdfunding campaign on Ketto.org that was started three days ago has already received contribution of over Rs 1 lakh.

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