Sudha Murthy announces ₹25 crore grant for flood-hit Kodagu
The legendary Mysuru Dasara or ‘Nada Habba’ (State Festival) got off to a traditional start atop Chamundi Hills here on Wednesday with Sudha Murthy, writer and Chairperson of Infosys Foundation, Bengaluru inaugurating the 10-day long festivities by lighting the lamp and offering flowers to the idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari, the presiding deity of Mysuru, placed inside a silver chariot in the temple premises.
Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, his Cabinet colleagues G.T. Deve Gowda, Jaimala, S.R. Mahesh, Rajashekar Patil, Mysuru MP Pratap Simha, State JD-S President A.H.Vishwanath, MLAs from Mysuru city and district and other dignitaries witnessed the occasion. Prior to this, Ms. Murthy, her husband and Infosys Founder N.R.Narayana Murthy, other family members, Mr. Kumaraswamy and other dignitaries offered special prayers at the temple.
With this, a series of Dasara events will unfold all through the day and some of them include the Dasara flower show, Dasara food festival, Dasara film festival, Dasara exhibition.
Ms. Murthy is the first woman to inaugurate the festivities in the last few decades.
Thanking Mr. Kumaraswamy and his government for inviting her and giving an opportunity for inaugurating Mysuru Dasara, which she described as the “Pride of Karnataka”, she said, “I consider myself fortunate for having got the opportunity to inaugurate the festivities which has a history of many centuries.”
Recalling the history of the celebrations from the time of Vijayanagar rulers to Mysuru kings, Ms. Murthy said Dasara is also celebrated as “Mahanavami Habba” and the famous “Mahanavami Dibba” can be seen even now in Hampi. Music, dance, drama and other cultural events have been associated with the festivities since ages. “I recall my grandmother’s words on how the festival was celebrated during their times.”
Describing the contributions of Mysuru kings for the growth of the State, she said they were the ones who popularised Dasara after the Vijayanagar rulers. Their philanthropy is remembered even today, Ms. Murthy added.
After the Mysuru rulers, the elected government in the State started celebrating Dasara as “Nada Habba” and the people should join hands with the government as their duty to celebrate the occasion, she opined.
On the occasion, Ms Murthy announced to a grant of ₹25 crore from her foundation for the construction of houses for the rain and flood-affected people in Kodagu. She also announced to contribute more for the restoration of Hebbal Lake here where her foundation was spending ₹35 crore for bringing back the lake to life.
In his speech, Mr Kumaraswamy described Ms Murthy as a “rare personality” and said she has a heart of a mother. “We invited her to inaugurate the festivities seeing her humanitarian and selfless service that she has been doing,” he said, describing her husband and Infosys Founder N.R.Narayana Murthy as a “simplest person” he has come across.
He also recalled the Infosys Foundation’s contribution of ₹200 crore for Bengaluru Metro and ₹22 crore grant for upgrading the Cyber Crime Wing of the Karnataka Police in Bengaluru.
Referring to the recent suicides by farmers and others over non-payment of their loans, the chief minister made an appeal for desisting from taking such an extreme step, stating that the government was with them and requested them to have faith in it.
“Don’t make your loved ones orphan by this step. Please give a chance to solve all your problems. I’m an accidental politician and became the Chief Minister twice by coincidence. Believe in me and cooperate to help build the state which according to me is most resourceful,” he said.