In Service Of Telugu Language Venkat Gangavarapu Rallies Children To Join ‘SiliconAndhra ManaBadi’

March 23, 2024 09:13 PM
Venkat Gangavarapu and Bhaskar Rayavaram at Silicon Andhra’s ManaBadi annual celebrations in Lake Zurich near Chicago.

In Service Of Telugu Language Venkat Gangavarapu Rallies Children To Join ‘SiliconAndhra ManaBadi’

CHICAGO - SiliconAndhra ManaBadi has been playing a pivotal role in promoting the education of the south Indian language, Telugu for Indian origin children, and preserving the cultural heritage of Telugu-speaking communities worldwide. The dedication of SiliconAndhra to passing down the language to future generations is truly commendable. Over the past 17 years, they have successfully provided Telugu language education to over 100,000 students.

Founded 17 years ago in California, SiliconAndhra ManaBadi has expanded to 10 countries and 35 states within the United States, focusing on teaching the Telugu language. As a non-profit organization, all organizers and teaching staff at various locations are volunteers. This academic year, 11,500 students enrolled in the program. ManaBadi's program is well-structured, offering classes for children aged 4-14 years. Children under 6 years join the BalaBadi program, while those aged 6 and above join Pravesam, an entry-level program. The program consists of six levels: BalaBadi, Pravesam, Prasunam, Prakasam, Pramodam, and Prabhasam. It is approved by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and several local school districts, including Adlai E Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, IL. Students in the third and fifth levels take exams from the "Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University" to earn credits and biliteracy certificates from various school districts.

Illinois ManaBadi team members, left to right- Narendra Gudapati, Malathi Damaraju, Padma Vellanki, Pavani Gangavarapu and Venkat Gangavarapu

In Illinois, SiliconAndhra ManaBadi offers Telugu language classes in Buffalo Grove, Aurora/Naperville, Schaumburg, Westmont, Peoria, West Dundee, Bloomington, and Urbana-Champaign. Last academic year, a total of 500 kids joined the program in the Illinois region. ManaBadi provides extracurricular activities such as the Maatalaata (Telugu Spelling Bee), Balananadam (live radio show), and Children's festival to showcase students' learning skills.

As part of its extracurricular activities, the Buffalo Grove and Aurora ManaBadi centers organized a "Children's Cultural Festival" for this academic year on March 16th and 17th at Lake Zurich Middle School in Lake Zurich and Lemont Hindu Temple in Lemont. The event was coordinated by regional coordinators Dr. Venkat Gangavarapu and Malathi Damaraju, and local coordinators Pavani Gangavarapu, Narendra Gudapati, Sujatha Appalaneni, Kiran Mattey, Padma Vellanki, and Lohitha Tunuguntla. Around 1200 people participated in this two-day program.

During the Buffalo grove event, the Buffalo Grove coordinators Dr. Venkat Gangavarapu, Pavani Gangavarapu, and Narendra Gudapati highlighted that 165 students are currently learning Telugu at the Buffalo Grove center. They spoke about the range of programs conducted during the academic year, such as Maatalaata, Balanadam, and Summer Picnic, in addition to the cultural festival, which helps children nurture their language proficiency and foster cultural involvement.

ManaBadi Teachers

Bhaskar Rayavaram, Vice President of SiliconAndhra ManaBadi, was invited as the Chief Guest. He discussed the programs being conducted by ManaBadi at the national level and the significance of Telugu language education.

The festive atmosphere of the event brought joy to all participants, with students and parents wearing traditional Indian attire. The cultural programs, including poetry, comedy skits, and moral stories, showcased the cultural richness and talent of the students. Teachers and parents worked together to organize these programs, encouraging children to participate actively and showcase their talents. Commentators Rajinikanth Vunnam, Karuna Nallareddy Venkat Perugu, and Poornima Vemula captivated the audience throughout the program.

Pavani Gangavarapu appreciated all teachers and Balagurus (who completed all levels of Telugu language and are helping as support teachers) by inviting them to the stage and presenting them with flower bouquets. The teachers include Harika Perugu, Brunda Battaram, Vanitha Vunnam, Swathi Ivaturi, Nishitha Katta, Poornima Vemula, Neelima Sarma, Neelima Kalluri, Himabindu Kummarageri, Raji Gorityala, Dhanarupa Pothina, Pooja Abbagani, Swetha Sreeram, Kalyani Gollavilli, Madhavi Lanka, Pushpalatha Dasari, Ramani Gogula, Annapurna Kalanadhabhatta, Deepthi Musunuru, Swathi Akkineni, Karuna Nallareddy, Sanjay Gogula, Sagar Shikaram, Venkat Perugu, Rajinikanth Vunnam and Rajeshwar Gubba.

ManaBadi Teachers

The successful organization of this event was made possible by various committees, including the decoration committee (Deepthi Musunuru, Swathi Akkineni, Mani Vemuri, Annapurna Kalanadhabhatta, Pavani Gangavarapu, Ramani Gogula) and the food committee (Ramana Malladi, Krishna Movva, Kranti Kambhampati, Sai Sundari, Ramesh Gangavarapu, Ramesh Gorantla), along with several other volunteers.

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