By Manohar Mardi, USA
In the year 1941, Bunts Sangha, which had already built a formidable reputation as a staunch champion of their community’s progress, took a momentous decision to set up a women's hostel. 63 years have passed since then and Sri Ramakrishna Vidyarthini (S R V) Bhavan has carved out a niche for itself as one of the best run hostels for women in Karnataka. S R V Bhavan is a true home away from home for the countless young women from the state and outside, bunts and non-bunts; seeking higher education or pursuing a career.
Smt. Kamalamma Shetty (1907-2005)
Smt. Sanoor Kamalamma Shetty is the daughter of Smt. and Sri Belle Kanthappa Shetty. She was married to late. Sri Sankappa Rai Yenmakaje and bore two daughters. She lost her husband at a young age.
Matron, Bunts Hostel, Mangalore (1941-1950)
She joined Bunts Sangha hostel, Mangalore as superintendent soon after its inception in 1941 and served up to 1950. She took over from Smt. Laxmi V Rai.
Genial and gracious, she was very much loved by the boarders. Though she did not have the opportunities of higher education, she conducted herself in a dignified way and managed the affairs of the hostel very efficiently. Building up an institution is an arduous task with many hurdles to overcome, obstacles to be removed, favorable conditions to be created etc. Normally, pioneers like Mrs. Kamala had to shoulder such heavy responsibilities but being a capable person she made light of these teething troubles.
The Generation 4: Kamalamma, Manohar, Premalatha, Pavithra and Kalpana
Designated as matron she truly lived up to her role as a mother to the hostelites and paid special attention to food and health of the boarders. During her time the annual dinner was a great event to the ladies of the community which tradition is kept up even to this day. Under her supervision, S R V Bhavan made remarkable progress beyond the highest expectations of its most ardent well wishers and the strength of the hostel rose from eight to thirty.
A fighter all along, Smt. Kamalamma lived life to the fullest passed away peacefully on October 20, 2005 at the residence of her daughter Mrs. Premalatha Mardi at Bangalore. She loved travelling. She was an amazing cook, famous for her biriyani and her 'bangude gasi'. A remarkable lady in every which way, she was loved by the young and old alike. She lived to see the fourth generation of her family.