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Telugu Association promises better activities

Efforts to promote the rich cultural and social heritage of Andhra Pradesh, encourage the younger members of the community to learn the State language of Telugu and better connectivity among the people resident in New Zealand, India and other countries of the world are among the priorities of the new team at the New Zealand Telugu Association.

Jagadiswar Reddy Magatala, who was elected to the post of President at the Annual General Meeting of the Association held recently, told Indian Newslink that the population of Telugu-speaking people in New Zealand (including international students from India) is on the rise constantly.

Enterprising people

“There are about 10,000 people of Andhra Pradesh origin in New Zealand. Our people are engaged in various sectors of the economy – as manufacturers, scientists, engineers, doctors, accountants, software specialists, retailers and other professionals. You can see them in all the major cities of the country living and working with dedication, commitment and self-respect. Our Association accounts for more than 1800 members,” he said.

Established in 1998, the Association conducts and participates in a number of Indian observances. These include the Kite Festival, Rangoli, Holi, Ugadi, India’s Independence Day, Vinayaka Chaturthi, Bhathukamma Festival (seven days by Hindu women) and Tri-Festival (combining ‘Andhra Day,’ Dassera and Diwali).

“The Association also organises Blood donation camps, ‘Go Green Plantation’ and the Big Day Out. Our members and volunteers planted more than 1000 trees in Auckland last year. We are keen to be seen as a responsible, national body that cares for the environment and our people,” Mr Magatala said.

Community care

Members of the Association are known for compassion and the ability to rise to the occasion to discharge their community and social obligations. Such a spirit is tested when someone is in distress or passes away suddenly. The executive team and other members are always quick to act, contacting law enforcement agencies, Government departments, the Indian High Commission and the families of the concerned in India to comply with the formalities.

Office space

“We are eager to do more but constrained by the absence of a permanent office that can serve as a central contact point for all. With a modest membership fee ($25 for family and $10 for students and bachelors per annum), our finances are limited. We hope to secure a place either free or at a nominal rent to offer a number of other services such as a library and free language classes,” Mr Magatala said.

New Committee

Among the other members of the Executive Committee for 2014 are Devender Chendri, Kalyani Kidambi (Vice-Presidents), Jagadishwar Reddy Patllola (General Secretary). Venkata Ramana Rao Salvaji, Chittaranjan Ancha (Joint Secretaries), Dharmendar Alle (Treasurer), Arun Rao Paidgummula (Joint Treasurer); Rajasheker Reddy Patllola, Pavan Kumar Charukonda, Srikanth Reddy Chandupatla, Kiran Kumar Koripa, Santosh Reddy Sonti, Vijayalaxmi Mummidi and Madhu Kumar Yerra.

Jagadiswar Reddy Magatala can be reached on (09) 4440555 or 021-0669114. Email: mjreddy64@yahoo.com

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