M N Krishna Rao park pavillion now a library, move irks family
The MN Krishna Rao park in Basavanagudi, one of the oldest parks in the city has an interesting history.
BENGALURU: The MN Krishna Rao park in Basavanagudi, one of the oldest parks in the city has an interesting history. Possibly the first park in the country meant only for women and children, the 25-acre park was named after Sir M N Krishna Rao, who was the acting Dewan of the Mysore princely state in 1941. This, as he had contributed generously for the construction of the park pavilion dedicated to women and children.
However, a recent move to change this pavilion into a public library has attracted the ire of Sir Rao’s family, who are worried that it defeats the purpose of the park. In the early 1940’s, his family contributed a huge sum of `20,000 from his personal funds to build the park and he laid the foundation stone. An additional amount of `15,000 was spent on the two-storeyed Krishna Rao pavilion located at the centre of the park. It was especially planned keeping in mind that women and children in the area had few places for recreational activities.
“The park was built for cultural events and music for the women and children to enjoy. Now, even men enter the premises. I understand it is not possible to stop anyone but the idea behind this park has changed. A library has been built without even informing us,” said Vikram Simha, the grandson of Krishna Rao.
Simha claimed that neither he nor PR Ramesh, Member of Legislative Council (MLC) were invited to the library opening as well. On asking Ramesh, he replied that he was not aware of the situation and has requested the library department to make the library available only for women and children.
Interestingly, even the Department of Libraries was unaware of the situation. N Saraswathi, Deputy Director South, said, “I will talk to my senior officials and the Director along with Mayor Gangambike and see if I can allow only women and children to use the library.” Mayor Gangambike said, “The pavilion was in a bad state when we spotted it.Turning that into a library is not a bad idea at all. How can I restrict any one from entering the library? The place is to gain knowledge and everyone should be able to access the library in the park.”