December 13, 2008
Raga Taranga – the premier cultural organization which has been playing a pivotal role in nurturing the hidden talents of children is on a roll celebrating its silver jubilee year in style and befitting manner. A two day cultural extravaganza is scheduled at Mangalore Town Hall to mark the occasion on 13th and 14th December, 2008. Children from all over the state are participating in this mega event.
It is indeed a splendid achievement for an organization, which was one-man show initially, to emerge as the only organization of repute devoted primarily for unearthing the talents among children. The Organization has been in the forefront in providing a suitable platform for children to exhibit their talents in Indian art, music and culture and thus pave the way for their personality development.
It was the brainchild of a young Prakash Shenoy, which led to the establishment of Raga Taranga in 1984. Greatly impressed on watching a programme in Town Hall, which was managed entirely by children, the then 24 year old Shenoy, a MESCOM employee, got inspired by a brainwave that resulted in establishing Raga Taranga with the help of other like-minded enthusiasts on 2nd October in 1984, which happened to be Vijaya Dashami day. “As a child though I had interest in music I could not pursue my interest and learn it. I did not want the talents of other children to go waste for lack of a platform, which resulted in establishing Raga Taranga”, he says with satisfaction writ large. He adds “I am fulfilling my desire of whatever I could not achieve through theses children”.
The initial years were full of struggle as the enthusiasm of other associates vanquished with the passage of time. But Shenoy, stood steadfast in his commitment and devotion to the institution he had set up. Over the years he was able to garner the support of other like minded individuals and today it has blossomed into a unique organization devoting its time and energy to inculcate and nurture children’s’ interests in Indian ethos and culture. Perhaps no other organization matches the efforts of Raga Taranga in tapping the talents of children. Jaya Rao, Secretary of the organization says, “Raga Taranga is the only institution which carries round the year programmes for the children to unearth exhibit their talents”.
The ambit of its activities include conducting nature camps, summer camps, district level Balaprathibha competitions, Ninada, classical instrument competition, Jhenkara, annual talent show competition, prathibha puraskara, drama workshops, chinnara paryatane, hora sanchara for children and programmes like book reviews, discourses and workshops on a variety of topics helpful for the parents. Children are exposed to brain-storming sessions to prepare them effectively to cope with the tough competition in their lives. Poornima Rao, a committee member says “We joined Raga Taranga for our children and in the process our personality got molded leading to our own development”.
Incidentally Shenoy is actively participating in the activities of the organization as its Founder President with the same zest and enthusiasm he possessed 26 years ago. Many ups and downs and learning bitter lessons in the course of building this institution have not dampened his spirits. Member of the institution eulogize his commitment, dedication, untiring ability and the positive attitude he instills among other members.
Membership is open to parents and their children automatically qualify to participate in the activities conducted by Raga Taranga. Children only up to SSLC are eligible to be the members of the institution. “Raga Taranga encourages children to nurture Indian art and culture, specially those traditions which are on the verge of extinct. We want our children to know their roots and keep connected. It is possible only when they are taught our traditions and culture”, points out Jayashree Aravind, Committee Member. As part of the Silver Jubilee year celebration Raga Taranga popularized Abdul Kalams’s Vision 2020 by training its children and members to perform 25 shows across the state on the seven doctrines, in the form of drama, dance, ballet and patriotic songs.
In fact it is the ladies who are the pillar of strength of Raga Taranga. Many homemakers and working women actively participate in the activities of the institution devoting their time and energy. “We cannot think of organizing a mega state level silver jubilee event without the active support and co-operation of our lady members”, says Dr. D Devaraj, President of Raga Taranga.
Though the organization has been functioning for the last 25 years, it goes to its credit that it has not set up an office for itself. The members are meeting in SDM College of Business Management to chalk out their strategies and ideas in implement their programmes. Principle Secretary Chandrashekar Daithota adds “It is not the individual but the strength of the organization that counts. We work like a family sharing responsibilities. If at all we fight it is for the right of the children”.
The two day state level programme is a good forum for children to assume leadership qualities as many are getting an opportunity to preside over the two day’s function. Cultural programmes on the occasion by the students from different schools of the state also serve as an ideal platform for young talents to blossom.
Chandrashekar Daithota sums up “our success is mainly due to the team work. Children up to SSLC need lot of encouragement to blossom their young minds into fruitful flowers. Raga Taranga provides an ideal platform to divert their minds towards constructive work. This is the whole purpose of this institution”.