Telugu Literary and Cultural Association (TLCA) celebrated its annual Ugadi festival on April 1, 2023, at Hindu Temple Auditorium, Flushing, NY, under the leadership of TLCA president Nehru Kataru. Vice President Kiran Parvatala, and Secretary Sumanth Ramsetty, TLCA Board of Trustees Charmin Dr. Prasad Ankineedu, Secretary Nagendra Gupta, Treasurer Rao Voleti, Past Chairmans Krishna Maddipatla, Venkatesh Mutyala, Dr. Purna Atluri, and many life trustees attended the event.
Ugadi is a Spring festival celebrating the start of Telugu New Year. Each Telugu year is given a name and the year 2023-24 is named Shubhakruth. More than 500 guests attended the grand celebrations in traditional attire. TLCA is one of the oldest Telugu associations in North America and has been promoting Telugu literature and culture in the New York Tristate region for the past 52 years. On April 1, 2023, the organization celebrated Ugadi and Sreeramanavami festivals together at the Ganesh Temple Auditorium in Flushing, New York
A strong contingent of 140 plus children and adults presented songs, dance and drama items showcasing the Telugu culture, mythology and history enthralling the audience. It is the goal of TLCA to nurture and pass on the rich Telugu culture to the generations and every year Gurus and parents from this region strive to train the children for the programs. A mythological drama MAYA JOODAM, a snippet from the epic Mahabharata, a dance-drama based on the theme of Ugadi, poem recitals, classical dances and popular numbers from Telugu movies were the prime attractions. Guests relished authentic festival food and delicacies bought from India.
The highlight of the show was the gracing of New York City Mayor Eric Adam, the Chief Guest of the day. It was the most exciting experience for the community as this is the first-ever visit by a Mayor of the City to the TLCA celebrations. Dilip Chauhan, Deputy Commissioner for Trade, Investment and Innovation introduced the Mayor and explained the initiatives of the Mayor for bettering the lives of every New Yorker. Speaking on the occasion, Mayor Adams congratulated President Nehru Kataru for the wonderful show put up by his team. Mr. Adams said it is always in his agenda to promote diversity and encourage the communities to come together and work for the overall progress of the region. He said Telugu community is blessed with high ranked doctors, engineers, and software professionals contributing to the economic development of the region. He assured full support from his office for any requests from TLCA.
Deputy Commissioner, Dilip Chauhan, said he has been associated with the Telugu community in New York City and Long Island for decades. He said the community is very humble, and peaceful and lives in harmony.
The Special guest of the evening, actress, Ms. Laya, honored the Mayor and the Deputy Commissioner with traditional shawls and bouquets.
President Nehru Kataru vehemently thanked the Mayor for his esteemed presence, inspiring speech and his assurance for any support. He thanked Mr.Chauhan for his efforts in making the dream of bringing the Mayor to a TLCA event a reality. Kataru said, the community treats Mr. Chauhan as part of the family for his continued encouragement for decades.
President Nehru Kataru said the Executive Committee under the guidance of Chairman Ankineed Prasad Napaneni and the Board of Trustees, worked hard to mark the beginning of the Telugu New Year auspicious for all the Telugus in the community with these celebrations. He praised the parents of the budding young generation for their devotion to the Telugu culture and for nurturing it in the children. He thanked the Executive Committee who worked hard for more than two months to make the celebrations a grand success. He said the poetry recital was a new feature introduced this year and promised many more during his tenure to encourage the youth. He expressed his wholehearted thanks to the donors without whose support these events would not have been possible.
The Chairman, Ankineedu Prasad Nannapaneni explained the efforts of TLCA for over 5 decades in preserving and promoting the Telugu culture and passing on to the next generations. It provides a popular platform to showcase the young talent. TLCA encourages artists, art forms, and literature by bringing eminent artists from all over the world.