A brief history of BADAGANADU BALAGA, Mysore & its future plans
It was in April 1989 that Badaganadu Balaga, Mysore was born, thanks to the efforts of a few Members of the well-known Badaganadu Sangha, Bangalore. Why they exactly decided to form this new organization, with almost the same objectives as the other body, instead of just opening a branch in Mysore, is still a mystery to many of us, who joined this organization in later years. Certainly there were some discussions prior to such development, but nothing exists in written form. May be, there was no provision to open branches in the constitution of the Bangalore organization at that point of time, may be the Mysore Members wanted more independence from the parent body than what was offered, may be this , may be that, etc. etc. are the several reasons offered. Whatever be the reasons, the fact is our Badaganadu Balaga took shape and the founding Fathers were:
Sri D.T.S.Rao Industrialist Mahaposhaka
Sri A.H.Gopal Rao Retd. Asst. Commisssioner President
Sri H.S.Gopal Rao Executive Engineer Vice-President
Sri N.Shivaram Superintending Engineer Vice-President
Sri C.N.Krishnaswamy Rao Retd. Asst. Commissioner of Commercial Tax Treasurer
Sri G.Vasudeva Rao Retd. Engineering Consultant Secretary
As of now, when we are celebrating 25 years of independent existence, except for the last two persons, we are unfortunately missing the other four persons. Physically, they are no longer in our midst, but the Balaga owes a lot to these founding fathers and the earliest Members of the Balaga. It is only fitting that we place our humble regards to all these persons on record at the very outset. While commemorating the Silver Jubilee of the Balaga, the first 25 Members are proposed to be invited to participate in the celebration and honoured as Aadhara Sthambas of the Balaga.
The Balaga had no office of its own in the initial years, but the Office-bearers met in each other’s residences and carried on the work of enlisting new members – not only in Mysore, but also in the neighboring places like Nanjangud, Srirangapattana, Mandya, etc. They also started some social, cultural and religious activities, which remain our main objectives even to this day. The first few years were the toughest ones and Sri G.V.Rao, who continued for nearly 10 years as Secretary, kept some space in his house at the Balaga’s disposal for our activities. The Balaga was officially registered as a Society in 1991, but with this residential address! This practice of using the Committee Members’ residences for their meetings was continued till very recently and it is only since 2010 that the Balaga has an office of its own, and an official address!
Sri A.H.Gopal Rao was succeeded by Sri N.Shivaram, Sri T.H.Shankaranarayana and Sri G.S.Subramanyam as Presidents. Dr. Y.Narayana Rao , Sri N.C.Krishna Murthy, Sri M.A.Chandrashekar and Sri B.N.Prabhakar were inducted as Vice-Presidents in later years. Sri C.S.Krishna Murthy, Sri N.R.Shankara Rao, Sri T.S.Shashidhar served as Secretaries while Sri N.G.Krishna Murthy, Sri K.G.Bharathy, Smt. Lakshmi and Sri T.E.Sadashiva took turns as Treasurers in the following years. A Women’s Wing was added around 1992, and has become an active partner in all our endeavours . Thus, at the end of 25 years, we have a well-knit team (listed elsewhere in this Souvenir) at the helm of affairs, which is carrying on the good work done by its predecessors.
Lack of regular office space, as a problem, was solved in 2005, when we got a 90 x 110 ft. Civic Amenities Site allotted at a nominal rate by the Mysore Urban Development Authority (MUDA) – thanks to the assistance rendered by well-wishers in the MUDA committee. An office building, however, remained a dream, due to lack of funds. But there too, we were lucky to garner the support of many of our own Members, their relatives and friends, besides a large number of elected representatives MLAs and MLCs. We could raise enough funds to construct a beautiful building – the Badaganadu Sabha Bhavana – which houses an Assembly Hall, a Dining Hall, a few rooms and has provision to build few more rooms for needy students. Work on it started in 2007 and it was officially thrown open to Members’ and Public use in August 2012.
The Balaga has maintained a tradition of regularly arranging religious, social and cultural events for the benefit of its Members:
• Performing samoohika Upanayanams and arranging religious festivals like Ganesha Puja, Ashadhalakshmi Puja, Sathyanarayana Puja, etc.
• Felicitating those who have completed 80 years (Sahasrachadradarshis),
• Arranging health check-up camps, blood donation camps, etc. for the benefit of Members as well as persons of all communities,
• Distributing merit-based and merit-cum-means-based scholarships to deserving students of all communities,
• Recognizing and honouring persons serving the public and contributing to their welfare and progress in diverse fields of activities (like politics, education, industry, entertainment, media, etc.).
The Balaga celebrates the International Women’s Day every year and has planned to initiate environmental awareness campaigns from this year. We also visit old-age homes and schools for specially-enabled children to provide the inmates some food, fruits, clothing and entertainment as well, on special occasions like Independence Day and Republic Day. Arranging Picnics, Excursions, Indoor and Outdoor Sports as well as Quiz programmes for all age-groups of Members, Singing, Cooking, Dolls Arrangement and other such competitions for the ladies complete the rest of our regular activities. The Balaga also provides all facilities for free computer training to ladies, besides Yoga, vocational training like Tailoring, language classes for Hindi, English, etc. to the general public.
As on date, the Balaga has a membership of about 800, of which around 300-400 are residents of Mysore, Nanjangud, Srirangapattana and Mandya. Another 100-200 are from Bangalore and the rest are distributed mainly in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu. Since 2007, we bring out a bi-lingual monthly Newsletter – Badaganadu Prapancha – that serves not only as an effective means of intercommunication between the Office-bearers and the Members but also provides a forum to highlight the achievements of Members, their children, their talents and achievements, etc. A Vadhu-Varara Vedike , functioning since 2008, provides useful assistance to Members seeking suitable alliances for their children and relatives.
A list of those recognized and honoured by the Balaga for their invaluable contributions to the Society in general, though not exhaustive, is quite impressive. It contains names like Prof. Roddam Narasimha (Aero-Scientist), Sri G.V.K.Rao (Chief Secretary and Head, Planning Commission), Dr. Pradhan Gurudutt (Head, Translation Academy), Sri R.Guru, Sri D.S.Srikantiah and Sri K.V.Murthy (Industrialists), Sri C.K.N.Raja (Legal Expert), Prof. Arkanath (Educationist), Sri H.G.Somashekara, Sri H.G.Dattatreya, Sri Mandya Ramesh and Sri Raju Ananthaswamy (Artists from the Large and Small Screens and Musicians). The list provides only a peep into the activities of the Balaga and the thinking behind the policies till date. It is certain to undergo minor modifications with the change of leadership in the years ahead, but we are sure that the essential features would be retained.
Badaganadu people have always been known for their administrative skills and educational excellence, even in the years gone by. They have held top posts in Government and highly respected positions in Society. Elsewhere in this Souvenir, we have given a pen-portrait of a few Eminent Personalities of the Badaganadu community. One of the cherished aims of the Balaga is therefore to bring out a more detailed volume on the contributions by such personalities to the Society in general and to the Badaganadu community in particular. We also wish to publish a Directory of important Badaganadu personalities currently active in various fields like Administration, Medicine, Engineering, Business, Cultural Activities, etc. Both these tasks entail collection of large amount of data, its consolidation and verification. We cannot undertake these stupendous tasks single-handedly and need help from as many people as possible, not all of them necessarily our Members!
We earnestly hope that this brief insight into the activities and future plans of the Badaganadu Balaga, Mysore provides the necessary impetus to undertake such worthy tasks. Suggestions from anyone interested in such activities are most welcome and the Balaga is willing to collaborate with them in any manner possible.
Dr.Y.Narayana Rao President, Badaganadu Balaga, Mysore