For the Telugu-speaking population in Chennai, the celebrations for New Year took off on Sunday with the presentation of the Ugadi Puraskar awards, instituted by Sri Kala Sudha Telugu Association.
The Music Academy was ringing with Telugu exchanges, as people gathered in good numbers to cheer the winners of the coveted awards. The event got off to a start with the customary Panchanga sravanam, followed by a veena recital.
This 12th edition of the awards presentation saw honouring of women achievers, marking the 100th International Women's day.
Presenting the awards, Member of Parliament Kanimozhi, said both Telugu and Tamil sprouted from the same root. “Like the language, the culture and lifestyle of people from both the states are very similar. We are inextricably connected,” she said. The government has been supporting other languages and striving to provide home for people from other States. “We need your support as much as you need ours. It is important that we both understand our commonness and help each other grow,” she said. Member of Parliament, Jayapradha, Consul General of France, Chennai, Raja M.Kausalya Devi, Singer P.Suseela, FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) president Kavitha D.Chitturi, music director M.M.Srilekha and women cricketer Mithali Raj were honoured.
The annual awards are conferred as a mark of appreciation to people who have contributed immensely in the field of arts and culture. Mahatma was adjudged the Best Film and Kalavaramaye Madhilo as the Best Story Film.
Srikanth and Meena were given the Best Actors awards, Doraswami Raju won the Best Producer award and Sreenu Vaitla won the Best Director. Best Photography award went to Senthil Kumar and Best Screenplay to Madhan. Thaman S. was awarded the Best Music Director and Danthuluri Chaitnya, the Best New Director. Best Playback singers were Karthik and Malavika. Special Jury awards went to actors Krushnudu and Abhinaya.
The Association president Bethireddy Srinivas presided over the event. Art director Thota Tharani, actor M. Murali Mohan, former secretary of South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce Katragadda Prasad and Ex-Chairperson FLO Shobana Reddy spoke.