ATA conference celebrates Telugu culture
ATA Conference Celebrates Telugu Culture. The presence of film stars, a music concert that mesmerized a relaxed audience, the re-enactment of...
The presence of film stars, a music concert that mesmerized a relaxed audience, the re-enactment of Bonalu-Bathakamma festival, folk dances, and various panel discussions focusing on different subjects have marked the conclusion of a three-day event conducted by the American Telugu Association (ATA) in Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, USA.
Over 8,000 Telugus and other Indian-Americans attended the biennial event hosted by ATA. The event began with a banquet--at which a number of donors as well as luminaries and community leaders were honored on July 3, Thursday night. It ended with the film concert that went on for a long time and concluded in the early hours of July 6.
The event, formally titled the 13th ATA Conference and Youth Convention, had a theme—Telugu Charitha, Yuvatha, Bhavitha (History, Youth and their Future).
Organizers were upbeat and congratulated all those who worked behind the scenes. “We are happy that the event ended on a successful note. The number of attendees exceeded our expectations”, convener of the conference,ParmeshBheemreddy said. “The important feature of the convention was that there was a great deal of local (US) participation. We gave a lot of encouragement to America-born youth and showcased their talent.”
The glamour of Indian-American youngsters competed with that of film stars that arrived exclusively for the event from Hyderabad. The convener compared the attendees’ response to Nina Davuluri (Miss USA), BinduPamarthi (Miss Washington DC),and Pratyusha (Trisha)Guduru (Miss South Asia International) with that of the stars such as RanaDaggubati, Sriya Saran, RichaGangopadhya, and SiyaGautam and as well as the Mano-led concert. The Mano troupe included Srirama Chandra, Hema Chandra, SravanaBhargavi, Pranavi, Malavika, Vijaya Lakshmi and others.
Asha Sing, a US-born Telugu girl, sang in English for the enjoyment of younger generations. The Miami Herald and the South Asian Times featured Asha, the Miami-raised youngster, prominently.
“Not just the glamour quotient, but we had seen the tremendous enthusiasm among NRIs for business seminars, literary sessions, and spiritual-yoga meetings,” Bheemreddy noted and cited the close coordination of various ATA committees that worked in tandem for the success of the whole event.
ATA President KarunakarRao Madhavaram, who was present at the business meetings, added that there was unimagined interest shown by the people. He particularly pointed out to such sessions as the ‘role of NRIs in developing the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh’, ‘the successful business idea’, and ‘how to win federal contracts’.
Entrepreneur Dr.JupallyRameswarRao, chairman of Hyderabad-based ‘My Home Industries’ that produces ‘Maha Cement’ brand among others, was the chief guest at the conference. He stressed the need for spreading education, particularly among poor children in both states. Dr.Rao donated $100,000 dollars to the ATA Education Trust.
The President and Convener also pointed out to other discussions like ‘Ashtavadhaanam’ (answering eight queries at a time) and the honor bestowed on veteran singer, S P Balasubrahmanyam, who conducted the finals of the “paaduthaathiyyaga” (sing melodiously) contest, as some of the programs that stole the hearts of the audiences.
Several government ministers, from the Center and both states, who were scheduled to make their presence felt at the conference, could not make it because of last-minute issues. The event was co-hosted by the Telugu Association of Greater Delaware Valley.
DaggubatiRana, who was raised in the US early in his life, in his brief remarks praised the NRIs for maintaining the culture and language of their origin in their adopted land. “You put us (the Telugu community) on the world map,” he observed in his remarks made in Telugu and English.
NagamJanardhan Reddy, a BJP leader from Telangana; ChintalaRamchandra Reddy, a BJP legislator from Hyderabad, Professor P. Kodandaram, who played a major role in organizing political and non-political bodies for achieving Telangana, Revanth Reddy, TDP MLA, GongidiSunitha, TRS MLA, RasamaiBalakishan, TRS MLA ,Vinod Reddy, TPCC official spokes person and other visiting dignitaries that attended the event joined in praising the NRI participants and their offspring for their contributions to their motherland and adopted nation.
Hyderabad-based Swami Chidatmananda,President Karunakar Madhavaram, Convener ParmeshBheemreddy, who lighted the traditional lamp for marking the inauguration of the event on Friday, July 4, stressed on the selfless service to society. Swami Chidatmananda called upon organizations like ATA to do more for the underprivileged sections of society back home. He blessed the gathering at the event, which was held here in Philadelphia during the US Independence Day (July 4) long weekend. Philadelphia was considered the first capital of US as it was the seat of government during the initial years of American freedom.
ATA President, KarunakarMadhavaram said the organization has helped Telugus who are in distress such as students who are in financial and other needs. Aside from this, ATA has done a lot of charitable work in both Telangana and Andhra states. “I take pride in saying that I have been leading all that effort for two years now,” he noted.
ATA lifetime achievement award was given to Sri C. Narayan Reddy garu in recognition for his contribution to the Telugu Literary and Art.
A group from Detroit, Michigan sang Raam Katha in a ballet, which drew wide applause. Haleem Khan, the Hyderabad-based artiste meticulously danced to the tunes of an AnnamacharyaKirtan was crowd-pleasing.
Two senior journalists from Hyderabad K. Ramachandra Murthy, hitherto chief editor of the English daily Hans India, and K. Srinivas, editor of Andhra Jyothy newspaper, led panel discussions on the two states that came into existence officially last month.
Mr. Madhavaram said that the objective of the association is to make sure that the community is represented in all respects. He highlighted ATA’s efforts on various fronts, including women’s issues both in the US and India.
In both Andhra and Telangana, ATA participated in anti-pollution efforts and anti-dowry programs. “Our association focuses on both states. We have no caste or regional issues,” he said, adding that the organization is prepared to discuss the matter with anybody.
The rendering of American and Indian National Anthems drew tremendous enthusiasm from the full crowd as both flags fluttered on the screen behind. The entire audience stood on their feet for a song that glorified the language and culture over the last several centuries. Background visuals during the dances while the specially prepared song was sung captured the attention of the gathering.
Food represented all the Telugu-speaking regions—Coastal, Rayalaseema and Telangana, while the entire atmosphere on the sprawling convention premises was nothing but a re-creation of the Telugu land in the US.
A pre-event banquet dinner was held with the participation of about 3,000 guests. Aside from the chief guest Dr.RameswarRaoJupally, Mr. RanaDaggubati, Ms.Gangopadhya, Ms. ShriyaSaran, few prominent politicians, and other VIPs were present.
Banquet committee chair, Rajesh Madireddy invited conference coordinator BhuvaneshBoojala to the podium and Boojalawelcomed the gathering and thanked the participants. He congratulated the honorees and donors on the occasion.
ATA organizers and volunteers took great care in meeting the participants’ requirements. Cultural programs and musical segments marked Thursday night.
The conference committee ParmeshBheemreddy, BhuvaneshBoojala, MadhavMosarla, Krishna Dyapa, BalwanthKommidi, and AnanthPajjur congratulated all organizing committees for successfully conducting the event and thanked all the volunteers and local associations TAGDV, TFAS, and TLCA for their help.
ATA conveyed a special thanks to the Media houses for their unprecedented coverage during the conference.