Staff Reporter

VISAKHAPATNAM: Artistes of the city, on the banner of Visakha Kalasanghala Sankshema Sangham (VIKASAM), met District Collector J. Syamala Rao on Monday and submitted a memorandum to him seeking his intervention in the setting up of an auditorium to stage cultural programmes.

Sangham general secretary Chenna Tirumala Rao noted that Visakhapatnam is the birthplace of innumerable artistes and is home to a number of cultural organisations.

‘No public platform'

It's unfortunate that there is no proper public platform for the artistes to exhibit their talents.

Kalabharathi which was charging a rent of Rs.3,800 a year ago has hiked the rent to Rs.8,500 and is also insisting on a deposit of Rs.10,000.

The VUDA Children's Theatre has only 350 seats and is not suitable for staging of plays or full-fledged music or dance programmes.

Though the open air Gurajada Kalakshetram can accommodate around 1,500 people, the programmes are being disrupted during rains and audiences are experiencing problems during the chilly winter months.

Ready to help

Recalling the statement of the District Collector during a programme organised by the Delhi Telugu Academy recently that the city needed an auditorium, the sangham said that the artistes were ready to extend their total cooperation to the district administration wherever the auditorium was constructed.

The other signatories to the memorandum include: V.N. Murthy, Konathala Raju, Kosana, V. Srimannarayana, M.V. Rajasekhar, P.A. Bhaskara Rao and Bobbadi Appa Rao.