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Georgia Telugu Association Organizes Charity Program to Provide Backpacks

June 2007
Georgia Telugu Association Organizes Charity Program to Provide Backpacks

Backpacks are a necessity for school going children but the astonishing truth is that there is a large faction of children from lower socio-economic environments who are unable to afford this essential item. Dr. Navaneeta Krishna Gorrepati, former president of the Telugu Association of North America (TANA), took it upon himself to organize drives each year to fulfill this basic need of school children. The Georgia chapter, led by TANA regional vice-president, Seetha Vallurupalli, organized a fundraiser this April at the Hindu Temple of Atlanta. Three southwest Atlanta elementary schools were the target for this fundraiser event, titled, "Indradhanassu."

The program opened with a prayer song with a rendering of "Vaishnava Janato" by Archith Seshadri, Deepa Sreetal and Ajay Upadhyaya. The next set of items included a list of classical dance performances from Bharathanatyam to Kuchipudi to Kathak. Pushpanjali by Priyanka Sridhar, disciple of Padmaja Kelam, was the first Bharathanatyam dance item. Further in the show, Priyanka with Anjali Gokaran danced a Jatiswaram. Padmaja's students, Rajani Murugadasan, Roma Ameen, and Anjani Gokaran, returned to perform a fast paced and intricate Thillana.

Following this, two unique presentations on Lord Brahma and Lord Indra, were performed by the disciples of Preeti Vinayak Shah in the Bharathanatyam style. Aditi Acharya, Meena Balasubramaniam, Nisha Bhat, Swetha Krishnakumar, Nivedita Krishnakumar, Meghna Mahadevan, and Tanmayi Pai created a calm and serene atmosphere for the remainder of the show with their soft movements.

Pavitra Shetty and Rajnish Singh from Aparna's dance academy performed to the popular "Kahe Chedu Mohe" from Devdas. Anitha Goklay and Shiela Vedala, disciples of Revathy Komanduri, stole the show with their piece on Dasavataram in the Kuchipudi style. They later performed a Tarangam, a dance on a brass plate, which had the audience in rapt attention.

Students of Sasikala Penumarti, Thareena Shah, Reneeta Basu, Kanan Pandya, Siri Yellamraju, Sumi Selvaraj, and Sudha Natarajan, presented another Kuchipudi item with great synchrony and coordination. Sridhar Munagala presented a dance on Chiranjeevi. A medley by Alekya Korrapati, Nikitha Gella, Voha Vellanki and Apyaya Nimmagadda was presented.���

After all the classical pieces, the Bollywood dance number, "Barso re megha" (Guru) was a refreshing change. Choreographed and directed by Praveena Vadrevu, the dance included Aditi Acharya, Meena Balasubramaniam, Teidra Brown, Shristi Joshi, Aditi Kapasi, Meghna Mahadevan, Priyanka Natarajan, and Ranjana Rathi, dressed in color coordinated ghaghras, who moved all over the stage in fluid movements and toe-tapping footwork to get the audience charged up.

Archith Seshadri, Deepa Sreetal and Ajay Upadhyaya returned to sing a medley of Bollywood film songs in several regional languages including hits from Roja, Parineeta and Dhoom 2. Ragu Sivaraman and Devasena performed the Colonial Cousins hit Krishna Nee Begane.

Seetha Vallurupalli thanked all the participants and sponsors for making the show successful and for raising funds that will help the needy school children of southwest Atlanta.

~Preeti Shah

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