Category Archives: Nri’s / PIO’s

The Hyderabad connection to U.S. water polo team

Naresh C. Rao, U.S.-based sports medicine expert (centre), and his parents with his book Step Up Your Game .V.V. SUBRAHMANYAM

Naresh is a sports medicine doctor whose clients included Olympic and professional athletes
Not many might be aware of a Hyderabadi connection to the U.S. water polo women’s team winning gold medal at the Olympics. Well, Naresh C. Rao, born to Govind Rao and Jyothi Rao from the city, was the head physician of the U.S. team in the 2016 Rio edition.

For someone based in New York and having been a water polo player, Dr. Naresh qualified for the job by the virtue of being a sports medicine doctor, whose clients included Olympic and professional athletes over the years.

“It was a huge honour. I always longed to be at the Olympics as a player. But I am glad that at least I made it as a support staff member of a gold-medal winning team. It was a complete team effort which I cherish forever,” said Dr. Naresh, whose father was a renowned paediatrician in the city’s Niloufer Hospital and was also involved in many philanthropic activities, especially on the medical front here, before moving to the U.S.

“The U.S. players’ eyes turned red and there were rashes when they were training in the green water in the pool in Rio. I immediately took up the issue with the IOC and the Rio Olympics Organising Committee. And the response was amazing. They drained out the pool completely and ensured fresh and clean water. I made it clear that it was not a case affecting just the U.S. squad, but all those taking part in water polo,” he reminded.

“The biggest challenge for me in Rio was to ensure that the players did not take any medicine, even for normal cough and cold, which would have merited a ban for drug abuse under different guidelines. So my job meant a lot of lecturing and motivational classes too,” said the sports science expert willing to give back to his home State – Telangana.

Dr. Naresh interacted with the students of Telangana State Sports School at Hakimpet on Sunday morning and stressed on how one could be a champion through natural performance-enhancing techniques without resorting to drug abuse.

“My book Step Up Your Game deals with this subject in detail and it has been acknowledged by many for emphasising the ‘entourage’ approach to training. It helps athletes get ready for the starting line,” he said. “The book has all the practical tools for all levels, from a beginner to the Olympian,” he added.

What next? Dr. Naresh has been asked to be with the U.S. teams for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as well. “I am honoured with the offer, but will take a call soon in this regard,” he signed off.

source: / The Hindu / Home> National> Telangana / by V.V. Subrahmanyam / Hyderabad – December 25th, 2017

First Mahatma Gandhi digital store opened

Ela Gandhi and Jayesh Ranjan inaugurating the store. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Information Technology secretary Jayesh Ranjan on Tuesday inaugurated the country’s first Mahatma Gandhi Mobile Digital Museum Store at Bapu Ghat in the city.

A joint venture of the Visual Quest India and Aditya Birla Group’s corporate social responsibility initiative Eternal Gandhi, the digital store is aimed at spreading Gandhi’s ideology and teachings. Souvenirs inspired by the ‘Father of the Nation’, crafted to reflect various facets of his life reflecting values of peace, truth and non-violence, would be put on sale. The income generated through the sale would be used for the mobile digital museum.

Gandhi’s granddaughter and former member of South African Parliament, Ela Gandhi, was present on the occasion. She recalled how Gandhi always believed that education was not all about learning, but a way of living. “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” she said, quoting her famous grandfather while addressing youths at the function.

Representatives of Aditya Birla Group and Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts were also present.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Telangana / by Special Correspondent / Hyderabad – December 20th, 2017

Messiah of Gulf victims

He has helped in repatriation of 300 migrant workers languishing there

He is seen by many as messiah of Gulf victims as he has supported them through thick and thin in the last five years, spending his hard-earned money. His tireless efforts and coordination with State and Central Governments brought home about 50 bodies of migrant workers, and 300 migrant workers have been successfully repatriated home.

Born into an agriculture family at model village Manoharabad of Jakranpally mandal, Patkuri Basanth Reddy went to Bahrain as a construction worker after completion of SSC and had lived there for several years. During his stay, he had witnessed labourers being cheated by Gulf agents.

Moved by the plight of Gulf workers, he came back to Hyderabad and established Gulf Telangana Welfare and Cultural Association. Recognising his efforts for the cause of Gulf victims, the Telangana Government honoured him with the best social worker award, which he received from Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao at Golkonda Fort on August 15.

That apart, he has several awards to his credit for his social work. He had Dr. B. R Ambedkar Vishista Seva Puraskar conferred on him in 2016, Prof. Jayashankar National Award in 2015. He has been selected for Mahatma Jyothiba Phule Award, and he will receive it from Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan in New Delhi on December 10.

According to Basanth Reddy, there are over 6 lakh migrant workers from Telangana in the Gulf. An estimated two lakh workers are from erstwhile undivided district alone. Many workers who went there in search of work on fake or kalivili (in local parlance) visas created by Gulf agents are languishing in jails in Gulf countries.

He says thousands of poor workers who went there, by taking money from moneylenders at a high rate of interest, are living in distress on streets. As they are uncared for by their employers, some are committing suicide and some are dying.

“I believe in social work. When a Gulf worker in distress is restored to his family, I feel immense pleasure. Therefore, along with some like-minded people, I have floated the social service organisation to render service to poor migrant worker families,” said the 42-year-old Basanth Reddy.

In the current month, with the help of the External Affairs Ministry and Telangana Minister K.T. Rama Rao, he ensured safe landing in New Delhi of 30 migrant workers who were stranded in Iraq . He personally goes to the airport to receive bodies from the Gulf and travels in the ambulance along with the bodies to their villages. “I have so far spent ₹ crore for my social service but never expect anything from society. I believe service to man is to service to God,” he says.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Telangana / by P. Ram MOhan / Nizamabad – December 02nd, 2017

Indian dancer performs 7 times at British Parliament

Promoting Indian art: Ragasudha Vinjamuri performing during International Women’s Day at the House of Commons.

London-based Hyderabadi, Ragasudha Vinjamuri has created a new record of presenting Indian classical dance at the Houses of British Parliament seven times.

Ms. Vinjamuri, academic tutor at University of Sunderland, has been performing and promoting classical and folk dances of India, besides her professional engagement with the university education. She moved to Britain 12 years ago.

A known name in the art and culture scene in the U.K., Ms. Vinjamuri presented classical dance on various subjects including Music Therapy, Ayurveda, Ahimsa and women empowerment. Her work is applauded by people from various walks of life, from community leaders to parliamentarians.

Recipient of several accolades, she was recently short listed for the prestigious Asian Women Achievers awards under Art and Culture category. She was trained by her Guru, Uma Rama Rao in Hyderabad, according to a press release.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by Special Correspondent / Hyderabad – May 26th, 2017

City boy conquers ‘Ultraman Florida’

Sweet victory: Manmadh Rebba at the finish line of Ultraman Florida

Solace for Telugus in the US

Even as Telugus are worried over safety issues in the United States, a young architect from the State has brought some cheer finishing the Ultraman Florida — an athletic endeavour that covers 321.6 miles (517.5 kilometers) including swimming, biking and marathon in three-days in the USA.

Manmadh Rebba, an alumnus of Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University (JNAFAU) is one of the few who completed the race considered one of the toughest in the world where the participants complete a 6.2 mile (10 Km) open water swim, a 263 mile (423 Km) bike ride, and a 52.4 mile (84 Km) ultra-marathon run.

Testing limits

“It tests the athlete’s mental and physical limits. The three day schedule is strenuous,” says Manmadh, who is one of the five participants from India and the only one from South India. The first day consists of a 6.2 mile swim and 92 mile bike, while second day consists of a 171 mile bike, and the last day is a 52.4 mile run. The event saw participation from 44 athletes from 21 countries.

Manmadh’s third day double marathon timing of 10 hours 2 minutes holds the fastest double marathon and he finished the race with a three-day aggregate time of 31 hours 43 minutes. It wasn’t easy as he had to face several personal challenges even before the race started. His cottage was burgled a day before the race.

Tutoring kids

“Luckily, my bike was in the car when I went to the race briefing and that saved my race. I got only two hours of sleep but was determined to finish the race,” says Manmadh, who is also one of the designers of the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad.

Manmadh has several achievements to his credit and one of which is the prestigious Presidential award in the US in 2016. He was honoured with this award for tutoring homeless kids since 2011. “I enjoyed every minute of my time spent with all the amazing and extremely potential kids. Receiving this award with the appreciation letter from the President Barack Obama during his last year in office is definitely very special to me,” says the Architect, who is now working in the San Diego Airport.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Telangana / by R Ravikanth Reddy / Hyderabad – February 27th, 2017

Hyderabad origin doctor elected chair of AMPAC

The American Medical Association Political Action Committee (AMPAC), a bipartisan political action committee based in Washington D.C., has elected Hyderabad-born Vidya Kora, a general internist from Michigan, as its chair at its recent meeting.

Dr. Kora had studied at the Gandhi Medical College here. He currently serves as Indiana’s delegate to the American Medical Association.

Dr. Kora has been active in organised medicine for many years and he is the past president of the Indiana State Medical Association.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by Special Correspondent / by V. Geetanath / Hyderabad – February 13th, 2017

Ambedkar Puraskar to NRI

Hyderabad :

Patkuri Basant Reddy of the Gulf Telangana Welfare Association was honoured with the Dr. Ambedkar Vishista Seva Puraskar for his services to the NRI community.

He received the award from Union Minister for Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan at a function in New Delhi. The award is instituted by the Bharatiya Dalit Sahitya Academi and is given to people who serve the underprivileged.

Mr. Basant Reddy played a key role in Dubai in mitigating the sufferings of thousands of migrants from India, mostly the poorer sections, exploited by the middlemen and the companies in the Gulf. He is the only person from Telangana to have been selected for the award.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by Special Correspondent / December 17th, 2016

When music comes naturally

Across cultures Alluri Redd
Across cultures Alluri Redd

Singer/writer Alluri Redd on his music and his name

If Shriram Alluri Reddy became Redd Alluri it wasn’t because he plays the guitar and sings English songs. Nor was it a conscious name change owing to his student life in London a few years back. The name change happened most surprisingly at the airport when the name got spelled as ‘Alluri Redd’ on his boarding pass. “Boarding passes can accommodate upto a few letters only. I wasn’t aware of that until I casually looked at my boarding pass and dashed off to the counter thinking I was carrying someone else’s boarding pass by mistake. I was then assured and made to understand the constraint,” laughs Alluri.

Alluri Redd who wasn’t too keen about flashing his surname, didn’t think it was necessary to go back to correcting the name and continues to be Redd.

In Hyderabad to play at NH7 Weekender, he is happy to be back in the city and play to a home crowd.

This London-based alt-rock singer/songwriter is an artiste caught between two cultures but he isn’t a confused a young man. “Growing up in India and completing my studies in Europe, I have been influenced by both eastern and western sensibilities. I have used this as the inspiration behind the Man Of Truth, the album which came out this year. I was introduced to western music by my elder brother. That’s because when I would watch MTV, my brother thought I was interested in western music whereas in reality I would give company to my sister while she enjoyed the songs,” he recollects.

Alluri apparently discovered rock via Ricky Gervais podcasts and his debut recorded in Brighton shows how adeptly he was absorbed.

But the music bug bit him quite accidentally. “My brother handed me a couple of albums out of which I heard Deep Purple’s ‘Smoke on the water’ and wanted to instantly play the guitar,” he says.

So, is Alluri trained in music? I was forced into classical music as a kid by my dad. I learnt the violin for a while and gave it up. Then I learnt the piano for a while and didn’t pursue that either. Same happened with my guitar lessons. I went for a few days and when I got a copy of the chord sheet I didn’t go back to my classes. But I didn’t give up playing the guitar. Soon I started writing my own tracks but didn’t think much about it,” says Alluri who feels his Bachelor’s degree in music technology was another reason for his interest in music.

He started writing songs since 2011 and is not deterred by the low response initially. “I am a confident singer/writer and I play the guitar so that it supports my singing,” says Alluri.

As for his favourites, he is a fan of Lou Reed, Morrissey, David Bowie, Talking Heads, Beatles, Radiohead, Elbow, Nick Cave and Joy Division. Alluri is also inspired by The Smiths and Nick Cave among others.

source: / The Hindu / Home> Features> Metroplus / Prabalika M. Borah / October 21st, 2016

When India meets San Francisco

Passion for films Anurag and Ashok
Passion for films Anurag and Ashok

The director-duo behind the first-Indian web series shot in the US worked hard to make theirdreams come alive

Every week, around 30 Indians from the ‘Art Street Creations’ group — all film enthusiasts residing at Bay Area, San Francisco come together at a coffee shop to discuss films, scripts and beyond. And at one such meet, Anurag Kautoori and Ashok Varma planned and conceived their Telugu web-series, Let’s Go San Francisco. This happens to be the first Indian web-series to be shot in the US.

Let’s Go San Francisco was in fact a product of the director-duo’s post-work efforts every night and their free time on weekends. Anurag and Ashok had already proved their filmmaking mettle in the past; their short films titled Foreign Sambandham and Exam Fever earned considerable acclaim online. “One of our earliest worries was to decide the medium of the story, whether it would be a feature film or a short film or a web series. When we first came up with the idea , web series as a concept was fairly new,” says Anurag, who has now shifted base to Hyderabad to pursue films as a career.

The sensibilities of two filmmakers matched, both had always enjoyed American TV shows and not a day would pass without the two watching a movie or a series episode. They considered several languages for the web series — Hindi, Tamil and Telugu — the latter was the choice they opted for practical reasons. They had many roadblocks to cross; limited financial resources, a small crew and the problems in obtaining shoot permissions in US. Incidentally, they shot the airport scene in the film with a huge crowd on the day when Narendra Modi was in town.

Roles of the crew on sets weren’t clearly underlined, but people chipped in whenever necessary, from arranging spaces to bringing meals to the makeup sessions. “Making the final result crisp, the length, the dialogues and keeping the atmosphere real were no easy tasks.

A scene from Let’s go San Francisco
A scene from Let’s go San Francisco

For instance, there’s a scene where two friends in the series keep talking and another person butts in to make a point. That’s something we don’t see in feature films. Handling on-screen histrionics of multiple characters in each frame was a challenge indeed,” reveals Ashok, who shifted to filmmaking from photography.

They wanted to imbibe the sensibilities of the likes of Sekhar Kammula, Mani Ratnam and Gautham Menon to the final result. ‘No punch dialogues’ was a rule we followed; we believe that the lines hit hard when they are natural.” Rakesh, one of the central protagonists in the series (a former roommate of Anurag) and a known name in the short-film circles was critical in bringing them to life.

Joint directors also meant a certain amount of creative differences that the both consciously worked on. The two say, they wouldn’t have taken so much time to make it, had they spent more time on the pre-production aspects. Even after making the series, post-production took time, they’d worked with the DI team of Annapurna Studios, which they say was crucial to bring a cutting-edge quality to the visuals. “We have a full-fledged script to shoot future episodes in the series and even have the thought of making it a feature film,” the duo states. While Anurag felt the need to break free from his monotonic job and pursue his filmmaking passion, Ashok (who works at Google) finds it better balancing it with his profession. “We are happy to be among the firsts in this place, setting up a path for many,” they sign off.

source: / The Hindu / Home> Features> Metroplus / by Srivathsan Nadadhur / October 14th, 2016

NRI Foundation adopts 100 govt schools in TS dists

Khammam :

One of the founders of the NRI foundation, Talluri Jayashankar said that it had adopted 100 government schools in seven districts to provide digitalised education. The initiative has been funded by 15,000 NRIs who belong to Khamman district and are now residing in the US.

Jayashankar was speaking at the teachers motivation programme here on Monday.Deputy CM Kadiyam Srihari said NRIs should adopt government schools and provide digitilised education to the poor.

In the meeting conducted by NRIs Foundation, he asked the teachers to take more responsibility in shaping the future of students and said that the goodwill of government schools was in their hands. He pointed out that though the government was providing funds to the schools for all facilities, government schools were not producing good results.

He asked teachers to understand the reason why a daily wage labour sends his children to private schools by taking loans and claimed that the reason for this was lack of faith in government schools.

The state government has introduced free education from KG to PG in 320 Gurukul schools across the state.

Khammam NRI Foundation representative Kishan Rao announced that they are spending 75 per cent of the funds for the development of education and 25 per cent for prevention of diseases across the district.

The deputy CM distributed LED TVs to school headmasters.MLC Balasani Laxminarayana, Khammam mayor Papalal, district education officer N Rajesh, assistant director of publicity Murthuja and others also participated in the programme.

source: / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Telangana / by Express News Service / August 09th, 2016