Saturday, December 31, 2011

SAPTHAK; A dream come true in Bengaluru. An update!

 Sapthak recently celebrated its Seventh anniversary at the prestigious Chowdiah Memorial Auditorium. Two leading artists, Pandita Shubhada Paradkar (Vocal) and  Pandit Bhudaditya Mukherjee (Sitar) performed. A grand success and a well attended program. Particularly satisfying for Tara as Shubhada Paradkar was her teacher for a while when we lived in Bangkok. It was  nostalgic as Shubhadaji stayed with us. In addition our friend Lakshminaryan,  M.D. Harman Kardon, also a well-wisher and a supporter of Sapthak, inaugurated the function along with Mr. Sri G.K.Veeresh, President of Academy of Music, Chowdaiah Hall.The program was well reviewed in The Hindu and other papers.

Here are few pictures of the occasion:
The Banner with the names of the sponsors.

Tara Srinidhi was  the compere of the program
G. S. Hegde thanks M. Lakshminarayan
M. Lakshminaryan, G.K. Veeresh and Hedge lighting the lamp.

Pandita Shubhada Paradkar


An enjoyable moment for the artists and the audience.
Sapthak family!
A close up
Pandit Vyasmurti Katti being felicitated.

Udayraj Karpur receiving a bouquet of flowers
G S Hegde thanks Sushila Mehta, Presedent of Sursagar
The audience

The artists with Dhananjay Hegde and Gurusangappa Hugar

Pandit Budhaditya Mukherjee


Pandit Ravindra Yavgal being thanked.

An introduction to Sapthak:
When Hegdeji called me one day and announced that he is retiring from the Karnataka Bank, I was a bit surprised as he looks too young to retire. As another retiree, I wondered 'How is he going to keep busy?'  In fact, he is deeply involved with SAPTHAK, an organisation he has created on his own. Hence, while the bank  misses a hard working employee, music has gained a very dedicated and a genuine devotee!

 I had met G. S. Hegde about a decade ago, the time his wife Geethaji came to Bangkok to teach Hindustani music to Tara and Viji and a few others. Bangkok which was starved for good teachers benefited immensely. The trio, Viji, Tara and Gayathri, also arranged concerts of her son Dhananjay and Hegdeji accompanied him on the tabla. But, it is only after my return to Bangalore that I got to know Hegdeji better and his total dedication to music and about his organisation Sapthak.

Sapthak is dedicated to promoting Hindustani classical music and other cultural activities. Hegdeji says: like the Seven Swaras in Sapthak, it has seven core objectives.
  • To provide a platform to budding and upcoming artistes.
  • To organise concerts of renowned artists and music maestros.
  • To encourage by awarding scholarships to the needy, but talented students of classical music.
  • To promote classical music learning by conducting lecture and demonstration workshops by eminent scholars.
  • To honour senior musicians, music teachers and organisers of classical music concerts.
  • To extend a helping hand to elderly musicians by way of monetary help.
  • To join hands with other institutions and organise music concerts by famous musicians.
Hegdeji, to make his dream come true has built a beautiful concert hall on the second floor of his house, Sushravya, which has a capacity to accommodate about two hundred people.

Hegdeji has been active for many years with music in varied ways. He founded Sapthak on 6th May 2006, registered as a charitable trust and since its inception has crossed many milestones in a short period of five years. He is rightfully proud of its achievements so far, which he hopes to continue to promote and sustain into the future. Here are a few highlights:
  • Organised numerous music concerts by well known and outstanding musicians from all over the world.
  • Conducted workshops at the Sapthak 'Sabhangana' for the benefit of students and lovers of music.
  • Felicitated  senior music maestros to honor their contribution to music and its upliftment.
  • Encouraged needy and talented students by awarding scholarships to the tune of Rs. 82,000/- per annum,
  • Helped senior musicians by offering medical aid to the extent possible.
  • Encouraged other art forms and  introduced them to music lovers, by organising Thalamuddale, Nudinamana and Nada nudi yaksha namana programs.
  • Celebrated Gurupoornimas regularly by arranging concerts at Sapthak Sabhangana to inculcate guru-shishya paramapara and also to prepare them to give public performances.
  •  Organised many Baithaks with the intention of providing public platform for upcoming talented young artistes.
  • Released Audio CD's under the banner of Sapthak, of  kumari Anagha Bhat, a disciple of Smt. Geeta Hegde.
  • Helped other institutions by organising culturally related programs.
 I was curious and asked him how, with a career in a bank, he had developed such a deep passion for music in all its varied forms. He said that he treated music in an 'Aradhana Manobhava'    (A worshipful attitude towards music)  even as a young man. In fact, one of the attributes he sought in the girl he would marry was her ability to sing! Geethaji, his wife, belongs to the Keramane  family of artistes in the tradition of  Yakshagana.

His dedication to music became stronger as his son Dhananjay Hegde, a renowned young vanguard artist of today, was discovered to be a child prodigy. He chose to dedicate all his time and energy to encourage his son's talent for music. He even opted to forgo his promotion as a manager, as he wanted to live in Bangalore, so that his son's tutelage under the guidance of Pandit Vinayak Torvi went unhindered.

Geethaji began learning classical music after her marriage and is now a very sought after teacher in Bangalore. Her speciality is that she gives one-on-one lessons to students thus providing individual attention. Many of her students are now well known in the field of music as performing artistes.

It is remarkable that the family is totally involved in music and is dedicated to it in all its genres. Not easy, as the admission to the concerts are free. The artistes, however are compensated directly by Sapthak, except  in a few concerts, which are arranged jointly with the help of donors and sponsors.

He says his dream is to make Sapthak a center for encouraging Hindustani music in all its aspects. He feels he could to do more by building a corpus fund, which will enable him to arrange more programs and encourage even greater number of artists. To this effect, Sapthak has obtained an exemption under section 80G(g) (vi) of the Income Tax act 1961, and donors can avail of this tax rebate.

We feel that Sapthak is an organisation which deserves to be encouraged and supported  to the fullest. As you can see a phenomenal amount of work is done and more can be achieved with help.
  • By donating generously to build the corpus fund.
  • Sponsoring Programmes.
  • Creating an endowment fund for either conducting programmes or to award scholarships
Today, Sapthak is deeply indebted to Karnataka Bank, Mangalore, Balachandra Naikanakatte Trust, Bangalore, Sackhumvit Trust, Bangalore for their continued support and patronage and a few individuals as well. We hope and urge that more will come forward to help.

Here are a few pictures which illustrate the extent to which Sapthak has grown, mainly due to Hegdeji's efforts and some well meaning organisations.

The stage at Sapthak Sabhangana

Seeking the blessings of Lord Ganesha

Press clippings of the many concerts arranged by Sapthak
A full house is a normal feature at a Sapthak concert.

A few more clippings.

Artist Shafiqe Khan on Sitar and Raghunath Nakod on the tabla.

Pandit Taranath on the Sarod and Pt.Partho Chatterjee on the Sitar
Pt.Praveen Godkindi on the Flute

A collage of the many programs.

The class room at Geethaji's home.
Students felicitate their Gutu Geethaji during Gurupoornima.

Dhananjay Hegde at a concert. He also works as a Manager at Karnataka Bank.

The very dedicated couple!

The first generation!

The present and the future. Dhanajay, Pratima and Suyog

A review in the news paper Hindu about a sapthak program

A link to one of the programs organised by Sapthak.


Ram said...

Very well written expose for Sapthak Nidhi Hopefully you will send it to TOI or Deccan H Make more folks aware of this jewel of an organisation....actually it reminds me vividly of the formative years of Gandharva Mahavidyalaya started by Pdt Vinaychandarji in Delhi That school, as you know, produced numerous highly acclaimed musicians.

Andal Sharma said...

Sapthak has been rendering yeoman service to the cause of Hindustani classical music by encouraging budding artistes,showcasing the talents of artistes from small towns of interior Karnataka and honouring senior musicians.Sri.G.S.Hegde has been running this organisation single-handedly and the praiseworthy aspect of this endeavour is that no money is being charged from the audience !In these days of escalating living costs,it is extremely difficult to run such organisations without support from the music-loving public.I,hence,request all music lovers to co-operate with Sri.G.S.Hegde in whatever way possible and strengthen his hands so that Sapthak can continue to serve the music lovers of Bangalore.
Thank you.
Mrs.Andal Sharma

Sanjay Das said...

We are greatly indebted to Sapthak for reasons more than one. Sapthak not only endeavours to create an awareness of the lagacy of classical music among the younger generation by educating them, but also giving them a platform for demonstrating their talent and skill which becomes a ladder for their growth. Sapthak also brings the music world closer to the music lovers and listeners who otherwise would have struggled to reach out to the muscians. I express my sincere gratitude to Mr.Hegde and Mrs. Hegde and look forward to many more memorable occasions with Sapthak.

VATSALA said...

Thanks. A nicely done blog. Very informative.