Category Archives: Nri’s / PIO’s

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

KTR gets rousing welcome from NRIs

After landing at Chicago airport on US soil, to a rousing welcome from non-resident Indians hailing from Telangana, Information Technology Minister K. T. Rama Rao on Tuesday launched into several meetings with VIPs including heads of companies.

In a busy schedule, he met Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence, Deputy Governor of Illinois, Trey Childress, and Consul-General of India, Dr. Ausaf Sayeed. He discussed potential areas of collaboration and cooperation between Illinois state and Telangana and outlined the salient features of the industrial policy of fledging State of India, including TSiPASS, the single window approval system.

Mr. Rao elaborated on investment opportunities in the information technology and communication, pharma and allied sectors. Mr. Trey was said to have expressed the interest of Illinois State to partner with Telangana on innovation. Also saying that he had heard a lot about the T-Hub, India’s biggest technology incubator, he said Chicago and Hyderabad shared a strong bond.

The Consul-General hosted a dinner at Chicago in honour of Mr. Rama Rao and the visiting delegation, after which the Minister held a series of meetings with heads of companies. Those he met included Chairman of the Redberry Corporation, Deepak Kanat, President of Abaris Capital Advisors, Omer Ahmed, Chairman, Genesis Pharmaceuticals, Monif Matouk and CEO of Safye Holdings Afi Hasan.

A press release said Eclat Health Solutions, a digital healthcare company, had come forward to invest US $ 15 million in Telangana, generating employment to about 1,000 people.

Several MoU were signed with representatives of these companies, in the presence of the Minister. Mr. Rama Rao also met Governor of Indiana, Mr. Mike Pence at Indianapolis later, also attending the Indianapolis-Hyderabad Sister Cities Committee meeting where he addressed a 500-strong gathering of NRIs hailing from Telangana.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by Special Correspondent / Hyderabad – May 25th, 2016

UK Indian Transcribes Ancient Palm-leaf Folios

The ancient palm-leaf folios.
The ancient palm-leaf folios.

Hyderabad :

Writer, poet and multi-talented academic tutor at Sunderland University in the UK, Ragasudha Vinjamuri, has completed transcribing ancient palm-leaf folios in Telugu.

The palm-leaf folios have been in the British Library since 1942 and, after a three-year effort, Ragasudha completed the transcription providing a new insight into the life and work of the twelfth century theologian and philosopher Acharya Ramanuja.

The work, in the form of Satakam, will be released in the British parliament on May 10 on the occasion of the 999th birth anniversary of Ramanujacharya. British parliament member Bob Blackman will preside over the function.

Ragasudha is a writer, poet, journalist and founder of Sanskruthi Centre for Cultural Excellence. She has also popularised folk dances such as Koya and Lambadi to a wider audience in the UK.

Ragasudha came across the palm-leaf folios through the curator of South Indian languages at British Library, Nalini Persad, who asked the former to look through the folios.

Some folios were badly damaged and needed Ragasudha to extensively research and identify the missing content from those broken folios. She could ascertain the author of the work with the help of scholars in India. It took more than three years for completing the entire transcription. “I am glad to transcribe the palm-leaf folios that were in the possession of British Library, ascertained by scholars and historians to be about 300 years old,” she said. Vinjamuri now wants to bring into light some mythological characters that received little attention.

Ragasudha researched various texts and puranas and is now planning to bring out the story of characters like Lord Krishna’s daughter, Lord Shiva’s daughter and King Dasaratha’s daughter in dance form, titled ‘Unknown Daughters’.

source: / The New Indian Express / by Express News Service / April 11th, 2016

Telangana Night in Canada on May 7

Hyderabad :

The fourth annual Telangana Night-2016 will be held by Telangana Development Forum of Canada in Toronto on May 7.

TJAC chairman M.Kodandaram will be the chief guest and Ontario Province minister Dipika Damerla of Telugu origin, the honorable guest. Artist Lohit will entertain the audience.

“In the preparatory meet held in Toronto, elderly members discussed the arrangements while the young drafted the dance and songs to be performed during the event,” a press release issued by TDF said.

source: / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Telangana / by Express News Service / April 12th, 2016