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Andhra Bhasha Nilayam demolished

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ON ITS LAST LEGS: The `Andhra Bhasha Nilayam' tucked away on the Sultan Bazar-King Kothi Road being demolished in city. Photo: P. V. Sivakumar
ON ITS LAST LEGS: The `Andhra Bhasha Nilayam' tucked away on the Sultan Bazar-King Kothi Road being demolished in city. Photo: P. V. Sivakumar

M.L.Melly Maitreyi

New building for the library to come up at same place

HYDERABAD: The body has crumbled but the spirit will live on.

The 106-year-old dilapidated building of the hallowed institution of Sri Krishna Devaraya Andhra Bhasha Nilayam in Sultan Bazar is being demolished to pave way for a new four-storeyed building on the same premises.

The Andhra Bhasha Nilayam, which celebrated its centenary in 2001 is perhaps the oldest non-Government library in the State, and had been witness to historic developments and events.

It was during the centenary celebrations, the then Telugu Desam Government announced a grant for the construction of a new building.

Mr. K.V. Ramanachari, Secretary, Education, who was instrumental in getting the grant during centenary celebrations, said Andhra Basha Nilayam was set up in 1901with the initiative of educationists and philanthropists.

Its present secretary M.L. Narasimha Rao had been serving the institution with the same zeal for the last 30 years and "some of us are doing our bit for the famed institution," he said.

Donations

With the completion of formalities, building plan and the Rs. 30 lakh-grant, the library committee hopes to raise the remaining amount through donations.

The Rs. 60-lakh new building `Telugu Kala Nilayam' will showcase and preserve age-old Telugu literature, culture and history for posterity.

The 40,000 old precious and rare titles of the library have been shifted to safe godowns and the library would temporarily function from office of Bhagyanagar Khadi Samithi, Saroornagar, said secretary Narasimha Rao.

The Andhra Bhasha Nilayam took shape those days, thanks to some spirited youngsters and emerged as the symbol of Telugu culture and self-respect in erstwhile Hyderabad State.

The Bhasha Nilayam named after Sri Krishanadevaraya, functioned initially from the Ramkote residence of Jagirdar Ravichettu Ranga Rao, the founding secretary.

Tiled house

Later, with a donation of Rs. 3,000 from the wife of Ranga Rao, a small tiled house was bought in Sultan Bazar to house the Bhasha Nilayam. Madapati Hanumantha Rao, who became secretary in 1915, raised more funds for its growth.

Eminent personalities used to consider it a privilege to address the gatherings at Andhra Basha Nilayam and they included Chilakamarthi Lakshmi Narasimham, Panuganti Lakshmi Narasimha Rao, Kasinadhuni Nageswara Rao, Sarojini Naidu, Tanguturi Prakasam, Jashua, Viswanadha Satyanarayana, Sri Sri, C.R.Reddy etc., and the young and the old would turn up in large numbers to hear poets, scholars, politicians speak.


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