Ravindra Bharathi begs for funds
Ravindra Bharathi Begs For Funds. Out of the terminated five, one was a watchman and the other four security personnel belonging to a private security firm which was outsourced. The reason cited was that Ravindra Bharathi had not cleared its bills.
Ravindra Bharathi is plagued by financial crunch and reportedly terminated the services of its outsourced security staff. Experts opine that meagre rents and priority towards government sponsored events have been its undoing
Performing at Ravindra Bharathi has always been a dream for many artistes. While, the multitudes of crowd with their chests swelled up with pride for once being felicitated or being able to perform at Ravindra Bharathi are also numerous, this venue which stands as high as mount Olympus in the cultural circuit is now being plagued by problems aplenty. The root cause of many of its problems is financial crunch.
It would be hard to believe that a venue of national importance with a high occupancy rate is facing a severe cash crunch. Reportedly, for the past three months the staff is not being paid their salaries on time.
Apparently the authorities have served termination notices to five members of the security staff of 10 and four of the maintenance crew.
Out of the terminated five, one was a watchman and the other four security personnel belonging to a private security firm which was outsourced. The reason cited was that Ravindra Bharathi had not cleared its bills.
A senior official with the administration at Ravindra Bharathi questions, “The Department of Culture looks after the administration of the venue, if it does not release funds how do you expect us to pay?”
The private security firm had demanded Rs 11,000 per month for their security personnel but the auditorium officials held their ground firm saying they cannot pay a penny more than Rs 8,000. Well, this has been a reason for serving a termination notice to their staff.
Most of the programmes held at the venue are attended by ministers, MLAs and other VIPs. With the termination notices being issued to the security staff and cutting the number by nearly half, a security breach can also be anticipated.
Ravindra Bharathi hosts 2-3 events every day. Given that the programme is of 4 hours and there is hardly half-an-hour window to clean the premises with amputating the maintenance department by four staff members.
Ravindra Bharathi charges a meagre amount of Rs 5,000 for a four-hour programme, the fare includes services of the audio system too.
On the contrary other private venues charge up to Rs 20,000 and more for a four-hour event and the organiser has to shell out extra bucks for audio system too. Fingers have been always pointed towards the organisers who used to pay less to Ravindra Bharathi and rake in hefty amount from the sponsors.
Cultural organisers say that increasing the rental fare to Rs 10,000 would solve most of Ravindra Bharathi’s financial problems as the occupancy for the venue is very high.
Experts opine that it is the government rulings that are leading to cash crunch. The officials of Ravindra Bharathi always prioritise government-sponsored programmes vis-à-vis private ones, even if there is a clash on the dates.
A senior official with the Ravindra Bharathi said, “Government events are our priority, and we have to abide by that. Sadly, most government bodies do not make payments on time. They pay very late unlike private ones.”
“Booking system of Ravindra Bharathi is horrible than that of IRCTC. All the four slots are booked four months before. We as private organisers are ready to host our events there but there is no slot for us,” says Vinay Varma of Sutradhar theatre group.