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Revamp hope for culture hub

Cuttack, Aug. 28: Kala Vikash Kendra, a premier organisation devoted to professional training in various art forms, including Odissi, is all set for a revamp.

Measures are being initiated for the first time to develop the kendra that will be celebrating its diamond jubilee in November.

Around Rs 2 crore will be spent to modernise the kendra, which was established in 1952 by Babulal Doshi.

The managing trust of the kendra has decided for its all-round development, including a revamp of its auditorium, which has provided a platform to various artists.

“Out of the total estimated budget, we are planning to spend about Rs 60 lakh towards modernisation of the auditorium, construction of heritage gates and installation of modern light and sound systems,” said the kendra’s managing trustee Khirod Patnaik.

Patnaik said there had been a sharp fall in the number of audience turnout at the centre over the past couple of years. Hence, it was necessary to renovate the organisation to draw its crowd back.

Moreover, a team has been constituted for raising funds from various sources, including few corporate houses, to carry out various development projects at the kendra.

Out of Rs 60 lakh to be spent to revive kendra, the state culture department has agreed to provide Rs 32 lakh for installation of push-back chairs inside its auditorium.

The renovation for the extension of the auditorium’s stage, installation of new chairs, and construction of toilets is likely to be carried out next month.

The capacity of the auditorium was earlier 650, of which Ravindra Mandap provided 400 chairs in 2009. The organisation also provides lessons in Odissi, vocal and other fine arts to some 200 students.

A member of the kendra’s managing trust said funds had always remained a constraint for the centre’s development as their electricity bill stood at Rs 27,000 every month. The kendra’s annual income stands at a paltry Rs 16 lakh, which is spent towards payment of teachers, artists and conducting minor repair works, apart from meeting other expenses.

Earlier, cultural programmes and other activities used to be held at the kendra for about 150 days every year. This has now reduced to 100 days allegedly because of scarcity of funds.