Staff Correspondent

Udupi: MLA Raghupati Bhat said on Saturday that the Government had set aside Rs. 180 crore to the Department of Kannada and Culture in its budget.

He was presiding over a function, organised by the Department of Kannada and Culture, to distribute musical instruments to musicians belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes here.

A two-day cultural programme was also inaugurated on the occasion.

Funds allocation

Mr. Bhat said that huge funds were being allocated to academies and other organisations for promoting Kannada and culture. It was essential to encourage traditional and folk arts and art-forms. The youth should be told about the importance of the rich cultural heritage of the country, he said.

Chairperson of the Zilla Panchayat’s Standing Committee on Agriculture and Industry Geeta Naik inaugurated the programme.

Musical instruments such as harmonium, percussion instruments, keyboards, chande and dolu, worth Rs. 90,000, were distributed to nine teams of artistes.

Only 10 persons other than the SC/ST artistes were present.