Gangavathi ready to play the perfect host

Come December 9, with a large number of people expected to visit the town for the 78th Akhila Bharatha Kannada Sahithya Sammelana, residents of the ‘rice bowl of Karnataka’ have decided to throw open their homes to accommodate the visitors.

Owing to the shortage of tourist lodges or hotels, organisers of the Sammelana had no choice, but to turn to the residents of Gangavathi, who were more than willing to welcome visitors into their homes.

Mane Mane Atithi

The district administration, which will take up the exercise of identifying homes, launched the ‘Mane Mane Atithi’ concept on Saturday, Daroji Sriranga, owner of a pumpset store, is leaving his entire ground floor in his two-storeyed house for guests during the three days of the Sammelana.

The ground floor comprises two rooms, a living area, kitchen and a bathroom.

“I am only making a small sacrifice by accommodating guests in my house. What’s more important is to make the guests feel at home, which is what Gangavathi is striving at. We are known for our hospitality, and we don’t want to let down the people who will be coming to the district for a literary fest for the first time. My wife and I are more than happy to extend our hospitality,” he said.

Narayan Rao, a bank employee, says that he wants to help the organising committee as much as possible. “My love for Kannada surpasses everything else. I am ready to help in any manner possible. So, when I was asked to provide accommodation to the guests, I agreed readily,” he said.

Rao’s wife Vidya said that in the 32 years of their stay in Gangavathi, her house had always seen a steady flow of guests.

The Raos are letting out their first floor - which has two big bedrooms, a large living area and a bathroom - where a minimum of 10 people can be accommodated.

500 houses

Koppal District Sahithya Parishath president Shekar Gowda said that the organisers were scouting for around 500 houses, where at least 1,000 writers/special invitees can be housed. Gowda said that there will be about 3,000 special invitees coming from outside the district.

The other invitees will be housed in lodges. Around 10,000 delegates, including resource persons, will be housed in schools, colleges and community halls.

Highlights

* The three-day Sammelana to be hosted at the Chenna-basavaswamy Grounds of the APMC, where two stages will be erected. The main stage has been named after the 13th century Nayaka prince ‘Gandugali Kumararama’
* Rs 4 crore being spent on the venue, procession and food
* Rs 4.75 lakh to be spent by PWD on roads
* Rs 9 crore set aside for beautification and upgrading bylanes
* Sammelana to start with a large procession of President C P Krishnakumar (between 9 am & 2 pm). Chief Minister to inaugurate the event at 2 pm.
* More than 20 cultural teams will showcase the cultural uniqueness of the district with their folk dances and music, including ‘Dollu Kunitha’, ‘Karadi Majalu’ and ‘Halige Mela’
* Food to be served at the main venue – ‘upma’, ‘mandakki oggarne’, ‘poori and ilkal chutney’ for breakfast; roti, chapatti, ‘hesaru kalu’, ‘halasande kalu’, rice , ‘sambar’, ‘godi huggi’, ‘sajjige’, and ‘hesarubele payasa’ for lunch; and rice, sambar, curd and papad for dinner
* 300 cooks from Hubli to prepare the delights
* 500 to 600 volunteers including youth will serve the food

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