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A Dharwad Kannadiga encourages theatre movement in Pune

N. Dinesh Nayak
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Sahitya Rangabhoomi Pratishthan rewards artistes

Five upcoming theatre activists who were given the Vinod Doshi Fellowship instituted by Sahitya Rangabhoomi Pratishthan in Pune on Tuesday.
Five upcoming theatre activists who were given the Vinod Doshi Fellowship instituted by Sahitya Rangabhoomi Pratishthan in Pune on Tuesday.

While the cultural trusts in Dharwad had come under scanner for various reasons, a foundation headed by a Dharwad Kannadiga in Pune has received wide acclamation and went a long way in promoting cultural activities, especially the theatre.

The Sahitya Rangabhoomi Pratishthan, headed by Ashok Kulkarni born and brought up in Dharwad, had been boosting the upcoming theatre activists by way of its annual fellowships. Every year, the fellowship of Rs. 1 lakh named after businessman and promoter of modern theatre Vinod Doshi is given to five outstanding theatre talents. Mr. Kulkarni said the pratishthan was formed in 2003 with the mandate to preserve and promote the arts while attending to the needs and aspirations to promote art and artistes.

Guiding force

The trust aims at catering to the needs and aspirations of young artistes and help them meet the problems encountered in the creative pursuits. Its activities were guided by veteran theatre personality Vijay Tendulkar, he said. The Lalchand Hirachand Premier Trust donates Rs. 5 lakh to confer the fellowships. Unlike others, this fellowship had no preconditions. The aspirants did not have to apply for the fellowship. They were nominated on the basis of their work dedication by an expert committee. Again, unlike many other fellowships, this was given to a practising artist and not to students. It was given on the basis of the recipient’s contribution and level of dedication to his area of activity and the artist had the freedom to utilise the amount as he wishes. The fellowship comes as a grant of Rs. 1 lakh to expend as the fellow wishes to, with no question asked, justification was not expected for the area explored. The pratishthan only expected creative risk-taking, Mr. Kulkarni said.

Today, it has emerged as a prestigious fellowship in theatre and almost all eminent theatre persons from Pune and Mumbai participate in the fellowship distribution ceremony.

Senior Marathi playwright G.P. Deshpade gave away the fellowships to Gagan Riar, Om Bhutkar, Umesh Jagtap, Parna Pethe, and Shruti Vyas at a function held in Pune on Tuesday.

The cultural trusts in Dharwad receiving funding from the government and other sources had a lesson or two to learn from the activities of the pratishthan.

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