The South Asian Times

22 June 2018 18:47 PM

Chicago Telugu meet to draw many luminaries

Special to The South Asian Times

New York: A galaxy of film stars, politicians and other prominent people are scheduled to participate in a 3-day Telugu convention starting June 30 in Chicago with an awards gala with an expected 7,000 participants, mostly from across the US and India.

“Governors Bruce Rauner (Illinois) and Scott Walker (Wisconsin) as well as Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi and former New Jersey lawmaker Upendra Chivukula will grace the event,” said Mohan Krishna Mannava, president of the organizing North America Telugu Society (NATS).

“We have chosen the theme Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the world is one family) and everybody from anywhere in the world is welcome to our convention,” Mannava said on the phone to The South Asian Times.

Among the invitees are Andhra Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, IT and Panchayat Raj Minister Nara Lokesh, Deputy Speaker Mandali Buddha Prasad, federal Civil Aviation Minister Pusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju, former federal minister Purandeswari, Supreme Court Justice Lavu Nageswara Rao, Professor and Head of the Hindi Department at Andhra University Yarlagadda Lakshmi Prasad.

The Chicago Telugu Association is the local co-host of the event. The Windy City and its suburbs are home to some 250,000 Telugus.

Among film personages to be present are Jagapathi Babu, Sai Kumar, Nikhil Siddharth, Raj Tarun, Rakul Preet Singh, Pragya Jaiswal and Nandini Rai.

NATS is taking utmost care to cater to all tastes and regions of the Telugu land with regard to food.

Spiritual, cultural, literary and business sessions will be held at the convention.

NATS was established in 2008 and it organizes conventions biennially. The previous one was held in Los Angeles. The organization is known for service-oriented programs, both in India and the US. Its motto is “bhaashe ramyam, seve gamyam” (service is the goal through a melodious language).  

According to the NATS president, there are up to 1.5 million Telugus among the estimated 4 million Indians in the US. 

Many of them immigrated in the late 1990s and started working in the IT industry, where Mannava is also an employer.

Mannava acknowledged that there have been a few immigration-related issues in recent months but he asserted that participants in the convention are not facing difficulty in obtaining visas.

For additional info on the convention, please log on to

Update: 19 June, 2017