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Kerala’s shopping festival kicks off in Kannur
BY ASHRAF PADANNA December 16, 2012
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TRIVANDRUM: Curtains have gone up on the Grand Kerala Shopping Festival (GKSF).

A Responsible Shopping Corridor stretches across the length of the mercantile hub of MG Road is coming up here to line up eco-friendly, organic and fair-price products in tune with the southern state’s responsible tourism policy, organisers said.

The campaign, organised by GKSF partners Mflint, will run until the end of Season 6 and will consist of a series of promotional activities including a roadshow featuring ‘green’ transport, street cultural festivals, distribution of publicity material to visitors and creative displays.

KC Venugopal, the junior federal minister for aviation, kicked off the 45-day long festival, being held across the state offering a whopping 101 kilogram of gold, at a glittering function held in the northern city of Kannur on Saturday.

UV Jose, director of the GKSF, said gold prizes won during the sixth season will be distributed from December 20 at designated branches of the festival’s title sponsor South Indian Bank (SIB).

Shoppers who win gold, including through scratch-and-win cards, anytime during the festival will be able to collect their prizes from the nearest authorised branch of SIB from December 20 onwards.

Prize winners will be chosen by judges designated by the GKSF district-level coordination committees. Nearly 300,000 prizes to be given out instantly on scratch-and-win are ready for distribution.

A whopping 101 kilogram of gold will be given away as prizes during the sixth season of GKSF. This includes one gram gold coins offered on scratch-and-win coupons, 10 sovereign prizes in weekly draws and mega draws where one lucky winner gets one kilogram of gold and two others get half-a-kilogram each.

“Season 6 also offers prizes including sponsored high-value gifts, sponsored gift vouchers and GKSF merchandise including Kerala handicraft and hand-loom items,” he said. “The best decorated among merchant establishments taking part in the GKSF stand to win up to eight grams of gold.”

Prizes are also awarded in each district to three business establishments with the most attractive decorations carried out using GKSF branded promotional materials. The first prize winner will receive eight grams of gold, the second four grams and the third two grams.

Hundred percussionists led by Mattannur Shankaran Kutty performed at the inaugural ceremony, which also saw singers like Vijay Yesudas, Swetha Mohan, Andrea and Naresh Iyer, actresses Remya Nambeesan and Meera Nandan and Kottayam Nazeer performing on stage.

Launched in 2007, GKSF is the second biggest shopping season in Kerala after Onam turning the entire state into ‘one single shopping mall’ for the entire season.

One of the notable achievements for GKSF this season is the introduction of online registration facility. The logistical support system for the event is now fully networked and managed online. To bolster “shopping tourism” in Kerala, a nationwide campaign was launched on Nov.26 in Delhi and travelled through eight states -Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

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