Encouraged by this, the founders thought that it worthwhile to formalize this gathering and organize the traditional Dasara Dolls exhibition and conduct cultural shows. That was the beginning of the Children’s theatre group called Balanandam, meaning happiness for children.
Around this time appeared “Bala”, the very first children’s magazine in Telugu, which later became an inspiration to other magazines like ‘Chandamama”. Our founders being the editors and publishers of ‘Bala’, allotted a few pages in the magazine to the activities of Balanandam children. This publicity helped the readers to start similar children’s clubs in Andhra Desam. Balanandam rapidly became a household name.
Balanandam activities at Madras (Chennai) created a lot of interest and started growing by leaps and bounds. Then our founders, along with other interested parents, thought it important to give the organization a firm basis and constitute a committee of management. Thus they formalized the association and registered it under the name of Andhra Balananda Sangham.
Children’s theatre activities sponsored by our sangham were considered to be of a high calibre. Many leading citizens, film producers and directors have associated themselves with the organization. They found it handy to utilize the talent among our child members and it is no exaggeration to say that every single child artist in films those days was sourced through Balanandam. Our thanks are particularly to producers, Sri. Nagayya, Smt. Bhanumathi Ramakrishna, Sri. B.N. Reddy, Sri. Nagireddy and Sri. Chakrapani, Sri. K.V. Reddy, Sri. D.L. Narayana, Sri. D. Madhusudana Rao, Dr. Raja Rao to name a few.
Our special thanks to Sri. K.S. Prakash Rao who was so impressed with the talent available here that he endevoured to produce the first full length feature film for children titled ‘BALANANDAM”. The entire cast were children of Balanandam and the script was written by Annayya and Akkayya.
In 1952, the executive committee decided to focus public attention towards children’s problems. To achieve this objective, the first children’s conference of its kind in South India was organized in Madras. A number of child delegates from various parts of the state of Madras and Mysore attended the conference.
The Child Welfare panel of the Central Social Welfare Board with its chair person Smt. Krishna Hatheesingh visited our organization in 1953 and paid glowing tribute to the work done by Balanandam. Our founder was invited to become a member of a panel that toured India to assess the needs of children.
The best recognition of the organisation’s services in the field of Child Welfare came from the Central Social Welfare board, New Delhi. The board gave Balanandam a grant to expand its activities. With that grant, Balanandam bought a projector and started a film club which was inaugurated by Sri. V.V. Giri, the then Minister of Labour.
With another grant of Rs.15, 000 from Central Social Welfare Board, the organisation purchased a commercial van and named it Balanandam. This enabled the start of a Toy library and a mobile library with a large collection of books and toys for children.