Most people in Bangalore, including many residing in Malleswaram, would be surprised to know that nestling in the busy streets of Malleswaram is a quiet place, Seva Sadan – an auditorium with a difference. Located in the central area, quite near the bus stop, this auditorium is a boon to lovers of art and culture. It is conveniently located and affordable for conducting small theatre, dance, or music programmes.
An auditorium is generally built for the community to organize cultural and social activities. But Seva Sadan was built for a different cause.
In 1936, at the initiative of Lady Loka Sundari Raman, wife of Sir C. V. Raman, as president of the Sadan, a devoted and dedicated couple, Rajeevi Bhai and Shiva Rao started Seva Sadan, a house for orphan children and women-in-distress, with 2/3 children in a rented building. Later in 1941, the municipality of Bangalore (now known as Bengalooru Mahanagara Paalike) granted the land free of cost, on which the present building structures were built.
Seva Sadan admits girls who have lost both or one of the parents, from the age of 5. The girls are taken care of completely with food, clothing and schooling till Class 10. Exceptionally intelligent girls are sent to college to pursue further studies. Vocational training in computers, embroidery, nursing, etc. is also given. Seva Sadan sometimes also helps in finding grooms for the girls under its care.
Seva Sadan’s activities have been uninterruptedly carried on since its inception in 1936 through donations received from various sources including grants from the Government of Karnataka, Bengalooru Mahanagara Paalike and other donors.
Are you wondering where to hold your drama or music festival? Book the Seva Sadan auditorium and you get not only a good hall for your programme but also a good audience turnout with the proceeds going to a good cause.
HOW THE AUDITORIUM WAS BUILT
Seva Sadan was just a hall until recently, for the inmates of Seva Sadan, with informal programmes conducted by people for a nominal fee; this was additional revenue for the Sadan.
Inspired by the Rangashankara theatre, Vimala Rangachar, President of the Seva Sadan, found the need for a small theatre for conducting small theatre, dance and music programmes in Malleshwaram; the area lacked a good auditorium that small groups and organizers could afford. So Vimbla Rangachar dreamt of converting the Seva Sadan hall into a well-equipped auditorium with all the necessary facilities.
The committee members of Seva Sadan enthusiastically worked for this dream. With expert advice from M. S. Sathyu, the well-known theatre director, the auditorium was built with donations coming from various sources.
The asbestos roof was upgraded with high quality sheets and the acoustics were done according to standard theatre requirements. (Vimala Rangachar is hoping another generous donor will help in replacing the asbestos structure.) The cost of acoustics for the hall has been donated by R. V. Raghavendra of GML Cultural Academy.
Seva Sadan is efficiently run by a committee comprising lawyers, a chartered accountant, a doctor and other experts who render their services free.
Seva Sadan is a gift to lovers of art and culture and what better way to collect funds for a cause than by service to the community.
Vimla Rangachar, the very well-known social personality and philanthropist, the President of Seva Sadan, recalls:
In 1941, when I was friends with Rajeevi Bhai’s grand-daughter, as young girls while playing we observed Rajeevi Bhai quietly looking after the destitute and managing the orphanage. This had a strong influence on me and I started taking active interest in the Sadan. Just before Rajeevi Bhai passed away, she took a pledge from me that I would continue the running of the Seva Sadan.
About the auditorium, she says:
We could have built a shopping complex instead of an auditorium to utilize this space for revenue for the maintenance of the orphanage. But our objective was community service and we decided to provide for the orphanage and home for the destitute from the proceeds of hiring out an auditorium.