Theatre and Yakshagana artists from Udupi had long been demanding a full-fledged district-level Rangamandira in the district after it was formed, given the fact that performing arts require permanent shelter as the region receives rains for over six months.
As pointed out by Kannada and Culture Minister V. Sunil Kumar himself on October 2, Udupi and Dakshina Kannada, despite being culturally vibrant, are among the 13 districts that do not have district-level Rangamandira. Members of Rangabhoomi (Registered), one of the prominent theatre groups in the district, often felt dejected during their tours whenever they saw a full-fledged Rangamandira elsewhere, said its General Secretary Pradeepchandra Kuthpadi.
A long wait
Late Ananda Ganiga of Rangabhoomi and others had appealed to the then district in-charge Minister, the late V.S. Acharya, and MLA K. Raghupathi Bhat to get a Rangamandira for the district. Acharya and Mr. Bhat had then announced a sanction of ₹50 lakh for the Rangamandira when they were paying their last respects to Ganiga. Then Kannada and Culture Minister C.T. Ravi during his visit to Udupi asked the Nirmithi Kendra to prepare the blueprint for the theatre.
Beedinagudde, the place initially suggested, was found to be inadequate and efforts were made to identify a new place. With a change in government, then MLA Pramod Madhwaraj got the foundation stone laid for the Rangamandira from the hands of then Kannada and Culture Minister Jayamala at Adi Udupi, Mr. Kuthpadi said.
However, the process remained stagnant until present Kannada and Culture Minister V. Sunil Kumar, who hails from Udupi district, took special interest and got ₹5 crore sanctioned for the project while immediately releasing ₹2.5 crore.
Thanking the Minister, Mr. Kuthpadi said the project should get completed in a time-bound manner thereby providing space for artists in the district to showcase their talents.