To honour Telugu literary personalities to mark poet's 150th birth anniversary

The State government has announced Rs. 1 lakh cash award for five distinguished personalities in the fields of Telugu drama, language, poetry, story and criticism as part of the three-day 150th birth anniversary celebrations of eminent poet and social reformer Gurajada Appa Rao.

Also, 25 other personalities will be felicitated on September 21, Gurajada’s birthday, and a cash prize of Rs. 10,000 each will be given away.

Made immortal for ‘Kanya Sulkam’, Gurajada Venkatappa Rao (1862-1915) or ‘Gurajada’ as he is popular, was known for being a poet as much as he was a social reformer who spoke against child marriages.

He is to Telugu culture, language and tradition, what Rabindranath Tagore to India. To mark the culmination of his 150th birth anniversary, the famous song ‘Desamuni preminchumanna, manchi annadi penchumanna …’ would be played at 11 a.m. in all Government schools across the State as a mark of respect to the ‘Mahakavi’, said Transport Minister Botcha Satyanarayana, who hails from Vizianagaram district.

Funds sanctioned

At a press conference after a meeting of the celebrations committee, Mr. Satyanarayana said government had sanctioned and released Rs. 4.88 crore for all activities connecting with the celebrations. A website on Gurajada in Telugu and English would be hosted very soon, he said.

Others in the Committee include Tourism & Culture Minister Vatti Vasant Kumar, Chairman, A.P. State Cultural Council, R.V. Ramanamurthy, Vice-Chancellor, Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University, E. Siva Reddy, Director-Culture Rallabandi Kavitha Prasad and a writer and specialist on Gurajada’s literary works, Vedagiri Rambabu.

Mr. Ramanamurthy said the celebrations would start at Vizianagaram on September 19 and culminate in a grand finale at the State capital on September 21.