P. Obul Reddy's family to support select sabhas in city

Continuing with the tradition followed by industrialist, philanthropist and patron of arts P. Obul Reddy, who passed away earlier this year, his family will support select city sabhas this December by contributing nearly Rs. 70 lakh.

Obul Reddy is considered not only a connoisseur of the arts, but also a pioneer and trend setter whose generous contribution greatly helped the cause of promoting the arts.

Among the sabhas that are to be supported by the Obul Reddy family are Sri Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha, Sri Krishna Gana Sabha and The Music Academy.

Obul Reddy was intimately associated with these sabhas and has been a passionate patron for decades. According to Y. Prabhu, general secretary, Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Mr. Obul Reddy was first a great rasika. “His love for compositions of Saint Thyagaraja and devotion to the saint composer made him take remarkable efforts to propagate the work of Thyagaraja,” he says.

Several leading musicians would perform a rendition in raga Mohanam or Kalyani if he was present. “Everyone knew of his particular fondness for these ragas,” Mr. Prabhu recalls.

Obul Reddy would also offer valuable suggestions to sabhas to equip their auditoriums aesthetically. He was instrumental in renovating the auditorium of Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha and helping build a mini hall. “It was rightly named Sri. P. Obul Reddy Hall. He also sponsored our annual Thyagaraja Aradhana and created an endowment for it,” says N.K. Moorthy (‘Deccan' Moorthy), president of the sabha.

Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha has been conferring the ‘Vani Kala Sudhakara' award upon five artists every year – a vocalist, two accompanists, one dancer and a theatre personality.

The Obul Reddy family has enhanced the sum awarded to the recipients. From this year, the five awardees will receive a sum of Rs. one lakh each.

“The family has also added to the endowment created by Mr. Obul Reddy for conducting the Thyagaraja Aradhana,” Mr. Moorthy adds.

In Krishna Gana Sabha, too, the family will continue supporting the ‘Nritya Choodamani' and ‘Acharya Choodamani' awards as has been the tradition for several years. The cash awards for these awards have been increased to Rs. 2 lakh and Rs. 1 lakh respectively. This year, the family has also supported the ‘Sangeeta Choodamani' award with a sum of Rs. 1 lakh.

“It was in fact Mr. Obul Reddy who suggested we institute an award for excellence in dance. That was how our sabha came up with the ‘Nritya Choodamani' title,” Mr. Prabhu says.

Enthused by the additional support, the sabhas have planned to include several new and interesting elements in their spread this December season. Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha will have a three-day Nagaswaram festival for the first time as part of its series, in addition to its music and dance recitals, and dramas.

Krishna Gana Sabha, in addition to its Natya Kala Conference, music, dance, Nagaswaram recitals, Upanyasam and lectures will feature some interesting experiments by renowned artistes, fusion programmes, talk shows and a special tribute to the 1000-year-old Big Temple in Thanjavur.

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