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By Ravi R Ponangi

Atlanta, GA: GATes (Greater Atlanta Telangana Society) celebrated Telangana state’s 5th formation day with enthusiasm and festival fervor. Attendees, young and old lined up early in the evening at the Forsyth Conference Center at Lanier Technical College, Cumming, Georgia. on Sunday, June 23, for 5th formation day celebrations of Telangana state. The grand celebration showcased the Telugu language, literature, folk songs, village dances, culture and heritage that lasted till midnight for an audience of 2000. Parking lots were full and guests parked their cars in nearby parking areas. People not only from Georgia but also from neighboring states attended this event in great number.

Telangana Formation Day is celebrated back in India on the formation of Telangana State on 2nd June every year since 2014. Telangana is 29th state in India. It is the twelfth largest state and the twelfth-most populated state in India with a geographical area of 112,077 km2 (43,273 sq. mi) and 35,193,978 residents as per 2011 census. On 2 June 2014, Telangana was separated from combined state of Andhra Pradesh as the newly formed 29th state of Telangana state with Hyderabad as its capital.
Several local and state officials joined the celebrations including Todd Jones, GA State Representative, Dennis Brown, Forsyth County Commissioner, Kevin McDonough, Chairman Forsyth and Cumming Chamber of Commerce, Vivian Vakili – Economic Development Director and James McCoy, CEO & President of Cumming, Forsyth Chamber of Commerce.

GATeS, Board Chairman Anil Boddireddy and President Thirumal Reddy Pitta with their teams led this extraordinary celebration of Telangana 5th formation day with unique shows of rare performances depicting the rich and unique cultural heritage of Telangana. This year’s theme reflected in showcasing traditional dances from Telangana regions that are fast disappearing and towards that end has programmed the celebrations with unique blend of local and professional artists from India.

GATeS is a Community Organization that founded in 2006, led by a great inspirer and a well-known community leader late G.S. Reddy has grown over the years and is now a 1000-member strong group. GATeS celebrate Telangana Cultural Day, Bathukamma and Vanabhojanalu besides Telangana formation day each year to bring Telangana families under one roof. Greater Atlanta Telangana Society (GATeS), reflect the new and reinvigorated spirit and cultural identify of Telangana. The formation of Telangana, the 29th state of India—a culmination of 6 decades of struggle—brought new hopes and a new sense of responsibility to every NRI especially to the people from Telangana across the globe, and all have awakened to this new challenge and GATes is responding with renewed dedication as was shown at this event.

The evening was kicked off with a ceremonial lamp lighting by GATeS Board Members followed by evening cultural extravaganza showcasing the unique and rich culture of Telangana. Some of the cultural highlights of the event include: Gananayaka dance by the students of Pushyami Lanka, a well-known Dance Teacher followed by Telangana Songs by Srikanth Lanka from Dallas, TX; EDM Alarippu Fusion presented Indian Raaga (Rani Gopireddy); Burrakatha, a traditional story-telling form of art, was used as an interlude to narrate each performance by artists. The anchor (Kathakudu) was Mimicry Ramesh and was supported by Niranjan Podduturi and Srini Shanagarapu; Rani Rudramadevi, a Dance Drama narrating the story of the monarch of the Kakatiya dynasty in the Deccan Plateau with capital at Warangal and Perini Thandavam, a dance performed by males and it is believed that in ancient times this was performed before the soldiers set to war, were presented Neelima Gaddamanugu, Natarajan Natyanjali Kuchipudi Academy; Gussadi and Lambadi Dance, Bathukamma and tribal dances from Telangana Region were presented by artists trained by Harini, Hema Shilpa and Shruti; Telangana freedom fighters Natya Roopakam - a dance drama presenting the valor and sacrifice made by people during India’s Independence Struggle, received a lot of applause from the audience. This masterpiece was presented by Shiv Institute of Dance Academy; Also showcased Telangana festivals of Bonalu dance presented by Neelima Gaddamanugu, Natarajan Natyanjali Kuchipudi Academy.

The success of GATes team was seen as they brought all of the Telugu regional and national community leaders on one stage to signify the unity and togetherness of all of the Telugu community. They introduced every one and the organization they represent. All the community leaders promised to support each other in the service of the Telugu community for greater benefit of the community. Then GATeS team recognized and felicitated several community leaders including Bhuvanesh Bujala Garu of ATA; Ramakrisha Reddy Ala, ATA BOT; Anjaiah Chowdhary Lavu of TANA; Bala Indurti of NATA; Bharath Maddi of TATA; Dr. Srini Gangasani, Convener, 2019 Atlanta AAPI Convention; Ravi R Ponangi, Editor of India Tribune; Sunil Savili and Srinivas Peddi of IFA; Dr. Satyanarayana Reddy of GATA; Venky Gadde and Vinay Maddineni of TAMA; Ravi Kandimalla of GATeS; Kiran Pasham of ATA; Bapureddy of TDF. Past Presidents, Chairmans and Officers of GATeS were also recognized for their exceptional contribution to the organization –Srijan Joginapally, Venkat Veeraneni, Viju Chiluveru, Narendar Reddy, Dr. Sreeni Gangasani, Ranjit Ganta, Prashanti Asireddy, Mahesh Nilagiri, Ratan Eluganti, Prabhakar Boyapally, Nanda Chatla and Ravi Chandar. GATeS teams recognized Mrs. Sulochana Reddy garu wife of late G.S. Reddy, founder of GATes.

The closing ceremony was as exciting as the beginning. Dappu, the band played by Dinesh/Parai group to resonate the celebration mood and as a fitting tribute to the event was the real highlight of the evening and kept everyone spellbound. Event concluded with video address by Erraballi Dayakar Rao, Minster Panchayati Raj of Telangana State.

Each member of GATeS EC and Board members spent countless hours to make the event a great success with able support from GATeS Advisory Board consisting of Karun Asireddy, Goutham Goli, Prabhakar Boyapally, Sridhar Jullapally, and Sathish Cheti.
Sponsors for the event IST, SplashBI, RapidIT, CaridoVascular Group, Suvidha, Ecovue, Dr, Venkat Veeraneni, Dr. Satish Cheti, Softpath, Reddy CPA, Aperio technologies, Orpine, Shekhar Realty, Rahull Chikyala, Srinivas Vuduta, Umesh Muthyala, Sridhar Kanchanakuntla were thanked for their unconditional support to GATeS.


' Jul-02-2019