Chitra V. Ramani
It was lying neglected for long in Kumara Park West
Bangalore: Many people can reel out facts about Kumarapuram Seshadri Iyer, who was Dewan of Mysore from 1883 to 1901. But not many know that his memorial in Kumara Park West, which was almost in ruins, has been restored.
The Kumara Park West Residents' Welfare Association decided to restore the park and the memorials of Seshadri Iyer and his wife Dharmasamvardhini.
"The memorials were in bad shape. They were neglected for a long time. Not many residents of the area knew that the memorial of such a great man existed within the park," said N.S. Ramakanth, president of the association.
The association tried to get funds for the development of the park and restoration of the memorials through the local corporator. The development of the park was taken up under the "one ward, one park" scheme of Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP), he said.
"Unfortunately, the corporator was not able to arrange funds for the restoration of the memorial. We approached Mayor Mumtaz Begum and the former BMP Commissioner Jothiramalingam, who gave us a verbal assurance. We then had to meet BMP Commissioner K. Jairaj to submit a written proposal. It took time, but we got the approval," Mr. Ramakanth said.
The association by then had approached a private builder who agreed to construct a band stand in the park, near the memorial. "We then took up restoration of the memorial. The plan for the restoration was ready, but we needed funds," he said. Mr. Ramakanth approached Seshadri Iyer's great grandchildren who agreed to sponsor sculpting of the bust.
"I took over 30 photographs of Seshadri Iyer's statue that is in front of the public library in Cubbon Park. We approached sculptors in Bidadi and got it made in record time," he said.
The remaining funds for the pedestal were mobilised through collections from residents and corporate donations. "We plan to unveil the statue and the pedestal on January 31," he said.
Mr. Ramakanth said that the hardships faced by the association would be worth it, if people remembered Seshadri Iyer and his contribution to the development of Mysore State. "The main aim was to revive history. After all Seshadripuram and Kumara Park are named after him," he added.