MYSURU: In this drought year, when 195 of 236 taluks are facing a distress situation, the state government was expected to hold a muted Dasara to show solidarity with farmers who are suffering. But the government has gone ahead and announced the schedule for grand nine-day celebrations that will kickstart on October 15.
The Navarathri festival is packed with events in more than 12 venues, including the grand Mysuru Palace whose front courts host shows by famous musicians. Only Yuva Dasara has been reduced from six to four days where Bollywood and Sandalwood stars entertain mostly young crowds.
The government has released Rs 15 crore to the Kannada and Culture Department, while the Mysuru Urban Development Authority (MUDA) has been told to grant Rs 10 crore. The Mysore Palace Board has been asked to write a cheque for Rs 5 crore for Dasara events. Apart from this, the district administration is also knocking on the doors of industrialists, organisations and businessmen for sponsorships to raise at least Rs 4 crore. Many offers had to be rejected as sponsors wanted prominent advertising spaces which could not be granted because of protocol issues, said Mysuru Deputy Commissioner KV Rajendra.
Many have come forward to sponsor Yuva Dasara, Women and Children Dasara and Raitha Dasara, he added.
The deputy commissioner, who was briefing the media on Dasara events, maintained that the Dasara committee has made preparations to boost tourism, which is the backbone of the local economy. He said, “The district administration is with farmers, who are suffering because of drought. But any plans to hold a low-key Dasara will have the worst impact on the flow of tourists.”
The Dasara committee has accommodated a number of artists from 4,000 applications and approved 250 troupes to perform at all ten venues. Theatre personalities will stage plays at Kiru Rangamandira, Townhall, Rama Govinda and Natana Rangama, he said.