Competitions, kites and steaming khichdi kept over 300 slum children of Sindri and its surrounding areas busy on Makar Sankranti.
Prayaas India, the students' society of BIT, Sindri, held a special get-together called Khichdi Mahotsav for the underprivileged children studying at its five centres on Monday. A string of contests in dance, singing, poetry and laughter challenge were held on the occasion along with a kite flying session at its centre No. III in Domgarh blind school. A feast of khichdi capped off the celebrations.
Senior professor of BIT, Sindri's electrical engineering department Ramji Gupta, who graced the occasion as the chief guest, inaugurated the programme around 10am by lightning the traditional lamp. Officers of Steel Authority of India Limited, including Mithilesh Singh, and office-bearers of Rotary Club of Sindri and Lions Club of Sindri were present.
The day started with a dance competition in which 30 students, selected randomly from all five centres of Prayaas, took part. This was followed by a singing competition that saw participation from 50 children. Poetry competition had 26 takers while the laughter challenge saw 17 students cracking jokes and mimicking people.
Though it was victory for some and defeat for others, the students nevertheless had a blast. "I didn't win in the dance competition, but the day was full of fun and activities. I loved it all," said Puja Kumari, daughter of a roadside hotel owner in Sindri.
Chemical engineering student of BIT, Sindri, Dhandeo Kumar, who is also the president of Prayaas India, said they organised the festival every year to provide an opportunity to the slum children, enrolled at different centres, to enjoy.
Meanwhile, about 10,000 people took a holy dip in the hot water springs, known as Surajkund, in Hazaribagh's Barkatha on Monday.
Local priests said devotees would continue visiting the place for the entire month. Barkatha BJP legislator Amit Yadav inaugurated a fair, which will continue till January end.