Trust lends a helping hand to ailing Yakshagana artistes

Trust lends a helping hand to ailing Yakshagana artistes

Alike Ramaiah Rai Memorial Trust will provide a financial assistance of Rs 10,000 each to retired Yakshagana artistes Siddakatte Vishwanatha Shetty and Bellare Vishwanath Rai for medical treatment.

Chief Advisor of the trust Bhaskar Rai Kukkuvalli said on Tuesday that Siddakatte Vishwanath Shetty has essayed a variety of roles in Yakshagana and has been in the field for 35 years. He has served Kateel, Karnataka, Kadri, Saligrama, Mangaladevi and Hiriyadka Melas (Yakshagana troupes). He became popular through Rama, Krishna, Sudhanva, Bhishma, Valmiki, Hanumantha and Perumala Ballala’s roles in both Kannada and Tulu Yakshagana. He has also authored Yakshagana plays such as ‘Chanakya Thanthra’, ‘Bollidandige’, ‘Kendasampige’, ‘Pattada Daiva’ and ‘Garuda Rekhe’, he added.

Several awards, including Seethanadi Ganapaiah Award, Yaksha Raksha Award and Skanda Puraskara Award have been conferred on him, he said. But, due to ill health, Shetty is not able to perform in Yakshagana. He is 59-year-old and has undergone a brain surgery and is suffering from liver-related ailment too, he added.

Bhaskar said Bellare Vishwanatha Rai is 65-year-old and has worked with Madhur, Surathkal, Kadri, Bappanadu, Kuntaru, Edaniru, Katilu and Kollangana Melas for about 54 years. He is well-versed in both male and female roles. He is recognised for his roles of Abhimanyu, Babruvahana, Lakshmana, Arjuna, Seetha, Draupadi and Prabhavathi. He rose to fame with the role of ‘Mallige’ in Tulu Yakshagana play ‘Kadamallige’. Rai has received a number of awards. He has also been a judge for SDM Law College Yakshotsava, he noted.

The financial assistance, along with citations, will be presented to them in their respective houses, he said.

Alike Yaksha Sahaya Nidhi assistance has been provided earlier to Yakshagana artistes Pakalakunja Krishna Naika, Punjalkatte Dharnappa Shetty, Koragappa Naika Khanderi, Kanchana Sanjiva Rai, Udyavara Jayakumar, Sujana Sullia, Puttur Chandrashekhar Hegde, Ganesh Kolekadi and Udaya Navada Madhur.

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