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Bhatkal Sadanandmam
– A Great Human Being

By (late) Shri Uday Mankikar

Bhatkal Sadanandmam was a multifaceted person. A writer, poet, book seller/publisher and a social worker. He worked tirelessly for reputed institutions like the National Book Trust, UNESCO, and Kanara Saraswat Association (KSA). He also encouraged many people to come up in life. Most importantly for the Marathi language, he successfully edited and prepared “Sankshipta Marathi Wangmayakosh” (Abridged Encyclopaedia of Marathi Literature)

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I came in contact with Sadanandmam in the year 1972, when he was the President of KSA and I got the opportunity to work with him. It was an experience by itself. I realised Sadanandmam’s outstanding leadership qualities and also understood the meaning of 3Ds i.e. Devotion, Dedication and Determination. Sadanandmam was a great connoisseur of Indian Classical Music and always wanted to make a platform available for upcoming talented artistes. Having this in mind, he started “Kala Vibhag” in KSA in 1972 and started organising “Saraswat Sangeet Sammelans.” Till date, 19 such Sammelans have taken place. Upcoming artistes who performed in earlier Sangeet Sammelans are now reputed musicians.

Wherever Sadanandmam worked, he always worked with a creative mind. He himself was a writer, so when he became the Editor of “Kanara Saraswat” magazine, he introduced new columns, one such column was “Kiddies Corner”, through which he encouraged kids under different age groups to write, to draw and exhibit their talent. Even today “Kiddies Corner” is popular not only amongst children, but also their parents.

 

Sadanandmam was a very meticulous person. He always led from the front. While handling any project, he used to do his home work perfectly, right from planning, working out the logistics to its execution. I can quote two examples in support of my statement: Second revised edition of R. B. Talmaki’s book “Konkani Proverbs and Idioms” and updation of Talmakimam’s “Family Tree Project”. Sadanandmam not only completed these projects successfully, but also handed them over to the next generation for their regular updation. What a marvellous foresight!

  

KSA celebrated its Platinum Jubilee in the year 1986. As a part of this celebration, it was decided to perform the drama “Chitrapur Vaibhav”, not only in Mumbai, but outside Mumbai too. Accordingly, in 1987 a tour was organised and the group performed at Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hubbali. This tour was organised by Sadanandmam, almost single handedly.

I was transferred to Goa, in November 1988, for undergoing Rural Banking Exposure, and was posted in a small village viz., Chinchinim, where I was staying alone. On one Saturday afternoon during the month of January 1989, Sadanandmam, came to my branch (Bank of India). His arrival at my Branch was a surprise for me.  When I asked him the purpose of his visit, he said “Uday, we have decided to organize the shows of “Chitrapur Vaibhav” at Mangalore, Karkala, Shirali, Kumta, Belgaum and Margao, during April 1989 and you are going to coordinate the Show at Margao. He knew that I am new to Goa, so, the same evening, Sadanandmam took me to his friend’s place at Margao. Shri Keshav Sinai Kunde, an eminent person from Goa. He assured all the cooperation and support. With Kundebab’s support and also the support got from Prof. Arunmam Mudbidri, Prof. Kumtakarmam and Hattangadi Sanjaymam on 22nd April 1989, at Gomantak Vidya Niketan, our Artistes very successfully presented “Chitrapur Vaibhav” in the presence of 300-500 knowledgeble audience. This was all due to Sadanandmam’s motivation. This project not only enhanced my Self-confidence, but also helped me a lot in all my future endeavours. There are many such experiences of which a book can be written.

Sadanandmam always worked at grassroots level, even when he was the President of KSA, which was his great quality, and the secret of his success in almost all the projects he handled. He had a firm belief that “People are there for the institution and not the other way round,” and if this is kept in mind, then only the institutions can prosper.

I consider myself very fortunate that I got the opportunity to work with such a great human being. My pranams to him on his Birth Centenary.

We regret to inform our readers that Udaymam, sadly, attained Sadgati not long after contributing this article

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The Karnataka Press Saga

By Sadanand Bhatkal

Popular Prakashan Pvt Ltd, 2009, Mumbai

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The Popular Story

Published by Sadanand Bhatkal for G. R. Bhatkal Foundation, 2005

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