from Rons Bantwal
for Daijiworld Media Network – Mumbai (RD)
Mumbai, Jan 18: Billava Association with over 20,000 members has been the premier organization among several Kannadiga associations functioning in the metro. Billava Association was formed with the merger of Gokarnanath Kshetra, Billava Hithavardhak Sangha, Billava Youth and Barkur Billava Charity Sangha in January 24, 1932. Association was registered on April 24, 1933 and opened its own office. M Appanna, deserves the credit for being its first president. Along with this Billava Seva Dal, with its sub-committees founded at the same time too is on the threshold of platinum jubilee celebrations.
Billava Seva Dal which was founded at the peak of freedom struggle naturally ignited nationalist and social concern among its activists. As the activities of Sangh increased, its branches were set up in Chembur, Bhandup, in suburban Mumbai. Over the years new branches have come up in Dombivli, Bhiwandi, Bhayandar, Thane, Vasai, Navi Mumbai, Padubelle, Borivli, Kalwa, Ghatkopar, Mira Road, Lonavala and at Jogeshwari, Malad, Kandivli, Mulund, Vikhroli, Goregaon, Andheri.
Billava Association, with its humble beginning completes 75 fruitful years. It has been shining across the metro, with its members making strides in every sphere. There was a time, when the literacy was on lowest ebb among the community brethren which was strengthened with the principles of Narayana Guru. Today the literacy rate has shot up with the starting of night schools and other measures. Today it also provides awards, scholarships to talented students and poor students of Dakshina Kannada with their parents settled in metro. It also provides free coaching to competitive examinations. It spends over Rs 30 lac, in order to encourage the talented students to explore new heights. Billava Association has founded Bharath Co-Operative Bank (Mumbai) Limited in 1978. The bank has earned the trust and respect of wide clientele in the metro, for its prompt service and customer care.
'Akshaya' monthly bulletin started by Billava Association has completed 30 years of existence. Billava Bhavan, six-storey building stands tall at Santa Cruz depicting the unity of Billavas in the metro, despite of hardships and busy life. It was inaugurated by Vilasrao Deshmukh, chief minister of Maharastra, on April 16, 2006. Janardhan Poojary, former union minister, Suresh Shetty, Maharastra education minister, Vinod Tavle, MLC, Kripashankar Singh, former home minister and others were present at the grand inaugural ceremony then.
The platinum jubilee celebrations of Billava Association will be held at Church grounds of Kalina, Santacruz, East, on Saturday January 19. SM Krishna, governor of Maharashtra, Janardhan Poojary, former state president of KPCC and veteran Congressmen will be the guests on the occasion.
Felicitation of Dr Vyasa Rao Ninjoor, eminent litterateur who has bagged Narayana Guru literary award and Raghunath Alva, who bagged Yakshagana Kala award, will be felicitated on the same occasion. Dr Hampa Nagaraj and Dr Kamala Hampana will also grace the occasion. Various cultural events, literary programmes, conferring of awards etc will be held to mark the platinum jubilee of Billava Association in Mumbai.