It was a special Ugadi as Ananya Cultural Academy held this year’s edition of its fundraiser, ‘Milana-an evening of dance and music.’ The programme brought together nearly 75 artistes for a four-hour visual and aural treat with five coordinated genres of Indian classical dance. It was held in aid of Arogyadhara, the health scheme launched by Ananya for people associated with music.

The event was coordinated by vocalist P. Ramaa.

The dances were choreographed by renowned gurus: Bharathanatyam by Lalitha Srinivasan; Odissi by Sharmila Mukherjee; Kuchipudi by Veena Murthy; Mohiniattam by Sridevi Unni; Kathak by Nandini Mehta and Murali Mohan. Vocals by P. Ramaa, Deepti Srinath, Ganesh Desai and Nandakumar proved a delight, adding ornamentation to each piece.

What made it more interesting was that works by authors such as Girish Karnad, V.K. Gokak, Kuvempu, Pu.Ti. Narasimhachar, Da. Ra. Bendre were skilfully amalgamated into all the five dance forms.

When the Arogyadhara scheme was launched in 2001, Lalgudi Jayaraman had admired the novelty of the idea. Today, the scheme, in Bangalore alone, has benefited nearly a 100 musicians.

R.K. Srikantan, chairperson of the Advisory Committee, Arogyadhara, says: “Help for one’s ‘aarogya’ during the sunset years is the best gesture. Most people associated with music do not get pension. The scheme is the first of its kind.”

R.V. Raghavendra, managing trustee, Ananya, says: “We have a medical fraternity of nearly 100 doctors on our panel to help us out, and a committee to look into cases. Consultation, hospitalisation and surgery, if any, will be free, or heavily subsidised. We have put to use nearly 20 lakh from the funds accrued for the purpose till now. We also conduct free medical camps and after the screening, it is followed up with further support and treatment.”

Writer U.R. Ananthamurthy, chairperson, Ananya, says: “We spoke to a cross-section of artistes who felt that people associated with music have nothing to fall back on. It’s gratifying that society, through such projects and help from renowned musicians of the State, have come to the aid of artistes.”

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