MP School of Drama
MP School of Drama

Bhopal: A shortage of fund has compelled the state government to shift MP School of Drama to the basement of Mulla Ramuji Sanskriti Bhawan, Banganga Square.

The corona pandemic and the lockdown have caused fund crunch to the government. A sum of Rs 1, 00, 000 is paid as rent for the building each month.

Nevertheless, the edifice where the institution is set to go is in ruins. The roof of the building leak and rain water drips down its walls. And the rooms are so small that acting classes cannot be held there. Also, there is no auditorium.

Earlier, the office of the directorate of culture, housed in the basement, was shifted to Shivaji Nagar in 2018 because of such problems.

The MP School of Drama (MPSD) has been running from the premises of Rangshree Little Ballet Troupe at Shyamla Hills on rent since its setting up in 2011. The school will go to Banganga Square in two/three months.

A trustee member of the troupe Ramprakash Tripathi told Free Press they had received a notice 15 days ago from MPSD about the termination tenancy.

Director of Children’s Theatre Bhopal, Prem Gupta, said shifting of the school would be an injustice to artistes.

The place the school is being shifted to is suitable for maintaining office or for setting up a store, but a school cannot be run from such an edifice.

“The amount of rent being paid by the school is less. Had it been in any other place, the rent would have been more than Rs 3 lakh each month. The rent is charged on the basis of collector rate agreement. The government can afford the current rent,” Gupta added.

Similarly, former director of Sindhi Academy Ashok Bulani said there could have been other options. He said such decisions might tarnish the school’s image, and that the government had reduced the number of facilities given to the artistes, rather than enhancing them.

The place where the school is located is fine, said an artiste Nageen Tanvir.

The fund crunch may have compelled the government to shift the school because of the corona pandemic, she said.

An actor Balendra Singh said the place where the school would be shifted was not suitable. As it is government’s decision, they know how to do it up for the institution, Singh said.

Renting out the building to MP School of Drama, the government has provided a sort of ventilator support to the Rangshree Little Ballet Troupe, a 68-year-old institution. The rent amount was being used to pay salary to some artistes and to maintain the building. We are thankful to the government. Now, the School is being shifted elsewhere. It is their right. But my point is that it should not have been done at a time when corona epidemic is raging through the country. It will be difficult to find a new tenant soon. What has happened is sad. I would like to appeal to the chief minister to do something about it.

-Bansi Kaul, vice-chairman, Rangshree Little Ballet Troupe Trust

The government paid the rent to Rangashree Little Troupe. But a building belonging to the government is lying unused. We were paying Rs 1 lakh per month as rent. The shifting will be complete in two-three months. The new session will be held in the new building. The new location is fine, because Allauddin Khan Academy, Ravindra Bhavan and other institutions are near. It will be good for the students.

- Aditi Kumar Tripathi, director, Culture

Yes, we’re shifting. It is a government decision. We will be moving to the basement of Mulla Ramuji Bhavan. It is lying vacant. There is no problem. The process of selection of students is underway, and the next session will start on the new premises.

- Alok Chatterjee, director, MPSD

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