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Atlanta/New Jersey

ATA All set to celebrate Telugu culture, heritage
Abdul Kalam to address meet in New Jersey

Clockwise: China Jeeyar Swami, Dr. Abdul Kalam, actress Charmi and singer Usha, ATA president Dr. Chandra Reddy Gavva, and Union Minister Purandareswari.


American Telugu Association (ATA) is all set to celebrate its 10th biennial conference on a grand scale to show case the eminence of the Telugu culture, heritage, art, literature, language and even the taste of food at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, from July 3 to 5. The reception committee joined by various committees have made elaborate arrangements make the conference a memorable one for the attendees.

Bharat Ratna A.P.J Abdul Kalam, the pioneering rocket scientist and the 11th President of India will be the keynote speaker at the inaugural ceremony of the conference on July 3. Due to his unconventional working style, Dr. Kalam is also popularly known as the People's President.

It is befitting for the organizers to invite Dr. Kalam as keynote speaker, because he has a long and close association with Telugus, as he lived in Hyderabad and worked as the Director-General of the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) there.

Before his term as India's President, he distinguished himself as engineering visionary and was awarded India's highest civilian honor Bharat Ratna in 1997 for his work with DRDO and his role as scientific advisor to the Indian government. He is popularly known as the Missile Man of India for his work, and he is considered a progressive mentor, innovator and visionary in India.

On many occasions he appreciated the contributions of Telugu people for the benefit of the community and particularly he mentioned the names of Dr. Soma Raju, Dr. M.R. Raju, Dr. S.V. Rama Rao and others. He is expected to interact with the delegates and particularly with youth and children.

Another prominent speaker at the ATA conference will be the crusader of peace His Holiness China Jeeyar Swamiji. Today he is reckoned very high among the monks of the India and abroad as the peace messenger. Viswayogi Viswamji Maharaj of Guntur, who is relentlessly working for fortifying Indo-US relations through his spiritual discourses and unity marches in the US, will also address the gathering. Other guests at the conference include Purandareswari, Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development, and daughter of NTR, acclaimed artist Bapu, delegations of Central and state ministers and officials, and several prominent social, spiritual, cultural, literary, art, entertainment, business and educational personalities. Officials, organizers, volunteers and the Indian community in the neighborhood of New York and New Jersey area are sprucing up the prestigious Prudential Center to replicate it as Telugu land. Several volunteers and the reception committee headed by its convener Balaram Pammi are working day and night to make the conference a memorable one under the guidance of ATA president Dr. Chandra Reddy Gavva.

The Telugus living in New York and New Jersey neighborhoods are hosting this enjoyable ATA conference after 10 years. Various committees constituted for the conference are ready with several well-planned programs. The three-day conference promises to offer a complete spectrum of social, spiritual, cultural, literary, art, entertainment, business and knowledge-related events. Being the 10th conference, ATA set the theme of the convention as “Telugu Talliki Haaram Dasamaavataram Yuvataraaniki Dwaram.” The convention also helps to promote a better understanding and closeness between the people of motherland (Indians) and those of adopted land (Americans). Various sessions that are to be held simultaneously during the three-day convention, include business seminars, youth programs, literary, spiritual and cultural discussions. More than 150 attractive stalls exhibiting their wares will be setup at the convention center, where delegates can happily shop around for exquisite jewelry, fashion garments, rare furniture, attractive real estate, enriching literature, entertaining music and video cassettes and DVDs.

Speaking to this reporter over the phone, Dr Chandra Reddy Gavva, president of ATA, says that due to the overwhelming response from people to participate in the conference, arrangements have been made for pre-conference registrations at four other locations in and around New Jersey and New York, to avoid inconvenience and disappointment. “We are still receiving enquiries from people not only from the US, but also from India and other countries. Already 7000 delegates have so far registered and we expect the registrations may reach up to 10,000 including on line and spot registrations,” he adds. The ATA conference is an opportunity to Telugu people to show case their rich culture, heritage and language to the main stream Americans, as India is playing a key role in the world economy.

Dr. Chandra Reddy says that the ATA conference is a perfect vacation for entire family and an opportunity to meet other Telugu families and celebrities. It is much better than
Caribbean vacation or Bahamas Cruise.

He appeals to all the Telugus and other communities to participate in the conference actively as this is a lifetime opportunity to attend a mega Telugu event. “You may not get an opportunity to attend a Telugu function of this scale. You can see and meet many celebrities under one roof. Can you imagine meeting all these at one location at any other time? he asks.

The American Telugu Association was formed in 1991, and the first conference was held in Chicago the same year.


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