Sammelana ends with a debate on money

Workers on Monday remove the pandals put up at the Government Model Higher Primary School, Bangarpet, for the 11th District Kannada Literary Fest. dh photoLeaving behind a bitter aftertaste for virtually everyone associated with it, the fest has made way for doubts in the minds of people regarding the amount collected by the Sahitya Parishat for the fest from various departments, organisations and donors.

Difference in accounts

The Parishat is said to have spent about Rs 11.50 lakh to organise the Sammelana. The actual amount collected, however, is said to be more than Rs 42 lakh.

Bangarpet hosted a district-level literary fest after 41 years. The committee formed to organise the fest is accused of having kept the president away from its activities as only a few members of the Parishat worked at collecting funds for the fest.

Sources said that the Government earlier released up to Rs five lakh for the district-level Sammelanas. Now, however, it is giving just Rs three lakh, making it difficult for the Parishat to organise the fest.

It is therefore forced to approach businessmen, representatives of the people and even government employees to collect money. The sources added that this year it collected more than Rs 42 lakh, “but did not mention the amount in the records.”

Collections

Donors for the Sammelana included legislator S N Krishnaiah Setty, who are said to have given money in lakhs. Rice mill owner Shanmugam donated Rs one lakh as well as 36 bags of rice.

Mill owners gave oil cans, and vegetables, sugar, jaggery, ghee, etcetera, were also donated by sellers by the organisers. Shawls, various kinds of mementoes, banners and bags were also donated by various sponsors.

In addition, since the fest was at a district-level, the organisers are accused to have collected a lot of money and things from people all over Kolar district.
Adding fuel to the controversy is the action of the organisers themselves, who keep passing the buck when inquired about the records regarding collections and expenditure.

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