Mangaluru, Feb 7, 2015: Bunt culture and heritage took centre stage with the birth today of International Bunts Welfare Trust, a new cultural organization of Bunt community.
A brainchild of city businessman and prominent community leader A. Sadananda Shetty, the chairman of Sridevi Education Trust, the trust was formally inaugurated this morning by Nitte Vinay Hegde, Chancellor of Nitte University at K. S. Hegde Vedike at Dr. T.M.A. Pai International Convention Centre, Mangalore.
The inauguration ceremony was a part of ‘Bunta Siri’ a day long cultural festival showcasing the community’s cultural heritage. The glittering inauguration ceremony was graced by a array of dignitaries including District in charge minister Ramanath Rai, state minister for health and family welfare U T Khadar, MP Nalin Kumar Kateel, music director Gurukiran, MLC Ivan D’souza, J R Lobo, MLA, Mangaluru South, Mohiuddin Bawa, MLA Mangaluru North, mayor Mahabala Marla, former MLC Monappa Bhandary, entrepreneur A J Shetty and others.
N. Vinaya Hegde’s mode of inauguration itself was a big surprise to everyone as he was called to water a coconut sapling – perhaps meant to be a symbolic salute to the community’s roots in agriculture.
Congratulating the Trust’s sponsors, Hegde said: "This trust has been formed with the objective of helping the community people. This is commendable and I seek God’s blessings for all those who have undertaken this good work. Bunt community has good leadership ability and we do not discriminate between people. We should consider ourselves lucky to be born into this community and we should continue in the footsteps of our forefathers."
Earlier, in his keynote address, the Trust founder and Chairman Sadananda Shetty said the Trust would strive for the uplift of the needy and empower the youth to build a better future.
Laying to rest rumours of an apparent rift in the community amidst his alleged differences with Bunts Maathru Sangha, the 100-year federation and parent body of all Bunts cultural organizations, Shetty clarified that the setting up of International Bunts Welfare Trust was his independent initiative and it had no formal connection with Mathru Sangha.
“This organization is formed with the motto of serving the community people and we look up to ’Maathru Sangha’ with great respect as it is a parent body. However there is no connection to ’Maathru Sangha’ and this programme," Shetty said.
It may be recalled that following litigation regarding internal leadership of the ’Maathru Sangha’, a court supervised election to the beleaguered body was held in November 2013. The poll was fought mainly between the factions led by A. Sadananda Shetty and another community leader Ajit Rai Malady. To everyone’s surprise the faction led by Ajit Rai Malady won hands down and Shetty’s faction suffered a humiliating defeat. At that time Shetty had publicly accepted the community’s verdict and pledged to continue to strive for the community.
Prominent litterateur Arya Laxminarayana Alva launched the Trust’s website.
Caricaturist Prashanth Shetty Mumbai, better known as ‘Chitra Mitra’ drew a portrait of Nadoja Dr Kinhanna Rai.
Sudhir Shetty of Charisma Builders, Mumbai donated Rs 25 lac to the corpus of theTrust.