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Rich tributes paid to Gurajada Appa Rao

Special Correspondent
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Happy moment:Writer and actor Gollapudi Maruti Rao being felicitated at the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Gurajada Appa Rao in Hyderabad on Friday.— PHOTO: K. RAMESH BABU
Happy moment:Writer and actor Gollapudi Maruti Rao being felicitated at the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Gurajada Appa Rao in Hyderabad on Friday.— PHOTO: K. RAMESH BABU

The 150{+t}{+h}birth anniversary celebrations of progressive thinker, poet and playwright Gurajada Appa Rao that started on September 21 last, drew to a close here on Friday with five eminent personalities being chosen for the award of ‘Gurajada Pratibha Puraskar’.

At a function held here, Tamil Nadu Governor K. Rosaiah and A.P. Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy gave away the awards and felicitated those who had distinguished themselves in their chosen fields. Although they arrived late, Appa Rao’s grand-daughter Bodepati Seshamma and his great grand-children Subbalakshmi and Venkat were greeted with applause when their presence at Ravindra Bharathi was announced.

Mr. Rosaiah recalled how the lines ‘Desamunu preminchumanna, Manchi annadi pempumanna ..’ and ‘Desamante matti kadoi, Desamante manushuloi ..’ were written about 125 years ago were still relevant today. They spoke of how he had fought against child marriage and for widow remarriage, apart from using his writings to drive home strong messages against social ills.

Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy said Appa Rao’s works were a reflection of his greatness, apart from holding a mirror to his relentless struggle against social evils. He said it was a happy coincidence that the 4{+t}{+h}World Telugu Conference (scheduled to be held this December) coincided roughly around the time of his 150{+t}{+h}birth anniversary year.

Others who spoke were Minister for Culture Vatti Vasanth Kumar, Transport Minister Botcha Satyanarayana, A.P. State Cultural Council chairman R.V. Ramanamurthy and Director-Culture Rallabandi Kavithaprasad.

Those who received the Gurajada Pratibha Puraskar that comes with a purse of Rs. 1 lakh include litterateurs Kalipatnam Rama Rao (Srikakulam), Avantsa Somasundar (Pithapuram), U.A. Narsimha Murthy (Vizianagaram) and Ravva Srihari (Tirupati) and actor, writer and director C.S. Rao from Hyderabad.

Five others got the Gurajada Rangasthala (theatre) Puraskar, with Rs. 25,000 as cash prize. Also 20 more personalities received the Gurajada Sahitya (Literature) Puraskar, also with a purse of Rs. 25,000.

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