Arjun awardee Jammalamadaka Pitchaiah cutting a cake marking his 99th birthday at his residence in Warangal on Wednesday
Arjun awardee Jammalamadaka Pitchaiah cutting a cake marking his 99th birthday at his residence in Warangal on Wednesday

Warangal: ‘Grand Old Man’ of ball badminton, Arjun award winner, Jammalamadaka Pitchaiah is just short of one year to be a centenarian as has entered into 99th year of his life.

A grand celebration was organised to mark his birth day at his residence at Bank Colony in Warangal on Wednesday. The celebration is held amid a large number of family members, friends and the city Congress working president Rajanala Srihari.

Pitchaiah, who is aged yet agile, cut a cake and recalled his old memories. He felt that being a sportsman has helped him live long and suggested that one should stick to a strict regime of diet and exercise to live happily and healthy.

He wanted the youth to come into filed of sports in more numbers and win medals at national and international events. ‘Receiving Arjuna Award in the year 1970 is the happiest moment in my life,’ he added. Srihari, who is former director of SAAP, felicitated Pitchaiah with a shawl and garland. 

‘It is a matter of great pride for us here that Pitchaiah lives in Warangal,’ he said and listed out the medals and prizes won by Pitchaiah.

The Arjun awardee has brought glory to the game for over two decades during 1950 to 1960 and even after crossing the age of 90 he continued to play and made efforts to popularise the game, he added.

‘Though born in Kuchipudi in Krishna district on December 18, 1918 he came to Warangal in search of a living in 1947 and since then he became a darling of the place. Everyone here takes pride in the achievements of the player,’ the Congress leader said.

Congress minority cell leader Md Ayub, SC cell leader G Raju, city general secretary J Subhash Goud, Pitchaiah family members Padmapriya, Sushila, Prashanth Kumar, Praveen Kumar, Venkateshwarlu and others were present.