Alcohol-free campaign in Kochi to welcome New Year

Kochi, Dec 29 (IANS) The state-run initiative ‘Subodham’ will usher in the New Year here in Kerala by organising an alcohol-free festival, organisers said on Tuesday, the day the Supreme Court upheld the state’s liquor policy.

‘Subodham Viva La Vida’ (Live Long) is being organised at Durbar Hall ground in association with the Ernakulam district administration and Kochi Metro Short Film Fest-Media Island, the organisers said.

Hours after the apex court upheld the Kerala government’s liquor policy that will see just 27 five-star hotels in the state serving liquor, Ernakulam district collector M.G. Rajamanickam told reporters here that the idea was to change the notion that no celebration is complete without alcohol.

The theme of the function is “entertainment without drugs and alcohol”, he said.

The entry will be free for around 2,000 participants on first-come-first-serve basis and all will have to pass a breathalyzer test.

“During New Year Eve celebrations, liquor flows in most parties and events. Our initiative is to set a novel change in society,” said the district collector.

The event will start at 5.30 p.m. on December 31 and will go on till midnight. A DJ party will be led by jockeys Savio, Shekhar Menon, Ram Nair, Tominen and Shaa, and noted singer Sithara will also perform.

Celebrated music bands such as Oorali and Saptak will also participate in the event.

Kochi Metro Short Film Fest-Media Island director and film actor Raveendran said: “We want to welcome the New Year in a manner that is free of intoxication.”

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