Balbhavan started in the year 1979 is in a dilapidated condition. With the ceiling falling off at places as also the plastering on the walls peeling off, it is urgently in need of repairs.It was opened when the late Devaraj Urs was the Chief Minister of the State, as a recreation centre for children.
While fungus is forming on the ceiling due to water seepage in some places even plants are beginning to take roots. Cracks can be seen almost eveywhere, especially at Bala Darshini Children Ranga Mandira is in a worst condition. Wood panels adorning the walls and even cupboards are falling off including the electrical switch boards.
As the Balbhavan does not receive any monetary aid either from the Government or the city Corporation for its maintenance and upkeeping, it has to depend entirely on the resources it mobilizes on its own. There are seven people working here which includes the driver of the toy train, who have been working on meager salaries earning less than Rs.2,500. While the income to the Balbhavan is not regular, except during weekends when most children visit to enjoy the ride on the toy-train.
Even though Mysore Zilla Panchayat CEO Sathyavathi is the President with the Kannada and Culture Department's Annegowda, MUDA Commissioner Betsurmath, MMC Commisioner KS Raikar, DDPI Nagendra and several other VIPs being the committee members, none seems to have any interest in maintaining the Balbhavan.
In-charge Officer Krishnamurthy said that though it comes under Women and Child Department, it is not been provided with any funds for its maintenance.
Deputy Director Vijay of the Women and Child Department said, "The current 30 year lease on the land where the Balbahavan is located, extending over 13 acres will be expiring shortly and steps will be taken to renew the same. Immediately after that, all repairs and other developmental works will be taken up."
In addition to providing entertainment for children, Bal Bhavan creates awareness among them by imparting training in handicraft and arts, innovative science, literature, acting and many other fields. Children in the age group of 9 to 16 years are trained here who are later sent to compete in District and State level events. For the past three years it has continuously won the National Award in Science division.