“I am yet to find a person or a non-profit organization that doesn’t look for limelight or publicity. Pure, consistent and selfless service right from the day of its establishment”, said Narender Reddy, a well-known community leader and political activist who attended Maitri’s event. “We all work hard and achieve our goals but we do not know how to celebrate our accomplishment. Maitri is one organization that organizes events purely to recognize every winning moment of people in the community”, said Phani Dokka while accepting a Memento during the 13th Anniversary Celebration of Maitri. About 45 Members, Artists and Volunteers who were recognized at this event made equally powerful and unique statements about the organization and how they feel being a part of it.
Maitri, an Atlanta-based Non-Profit organization Organization for Visiting Parents established in 2008, has celebrated its 13th Anniversary on Sunday December 12, 2021 at Sharon Springs Community Building, Cumming, Georgia, specifically to acknowledge the participation of the Seniors and the support by the Artists and Volunteers over the years. This typical low-budget and organically organized event had a mixture of messages by a few community leaders, seniors and music by various artists.
The event, which started right on time at 2 pm, was kicked off with a Prayer by Smt. Rajyalakshmi Vudatu, a founder member. This was followed by a welcome note by Viju Chiluveru, the founder of Maitri. He gave an overview of the Organization’s Mission Statement and what prompted him to start this organization.
A 30-minute music segment was organized to pay a tribute to Sirivennala Sitarama Sastri, a noted Lyricist who passed away recently. Shilpa Uppuluri and Krishna Rallabandy have together organized this very seamlessly.
Founder Members, Artists and Volunteers were recognized with a Shawl and Memento. Narasimha Rao Oleti spoke on behalf of the Members and said, “There cannot be a more satisfying thing than being a part of such an organization”. I have been with Maitri for over a decade and now it is a part of my life”. Subbarao Vudathu, Prabhakar Kadiyala, Raviprakash Musini, Subbarao Maturi, Narasimha Rao Oleti, Srikrishna Gouranga are among those who were with Maitri from the beginning. Members who passed away over the past decade were remembered at this event.
Neelima Gaddamanugu, Director of Nataraja Natyanjali Kuchipudi Dance Academy and Ram Durvasula, a well-known senior Artist, have received Dr. P.V. Rao-Maitri Award for Arts and Literature. This award was initiated in 2013 after the passing away of Dr. Venugopala Rao, a well-read person and friend of the community for over 50 years in the US. Ram Durvasula, who organized several concerts for Maitri has presented a song and spoke about the milestone of the organization including the major events and important dates.
A traditional Kuchipudi dance performance by Shruthi Nuthi and Anvitha Bommireddy, students of Smt. Neelima Gaddamanugu enthralled the audience. Smt. Rajyalakshmi garu presented a special song written for Maitri and it received a huge response from the audience.
Several leaders from Community Organizations were present at the event. Notable among those are from TAMA. Nagesh Doddaka and Sairam Karumanchi spoke about their association with Maitri. They felicitated Viju Chiluveru with a Shawl. Kishan Tallapally, Janardhan Pannela, Sunil Gutoor and Jyotsna Palakurthy from GATeS organization also spoke. Sri. Dilip Tunki, JohnsCreek City Council addressed the importance of voting and his future projects. Nabhanyu Chiluveru has helped in preparing the Mementoes and other graphic items for the event.
Viju Chiluveru in his closing remarks acknowledged the support of all those who worked for the success of the event. Gowridhar Madu, Lalitha Lekkala, Kishan Tallapally, Niranjan Podduturi, Janardhan Pannela, Sunil Gutoor, Rupa Pannela and the Singers Srivalli Sridhar, Raaga Vahini, Pooja Vishnu, KT Sravanthi, Shilpa Uppuluri, Krishna Rallabandi, Latha Kotamarti, Durga Gora, Gopal Turaga, Sireesha Durvasula, Aneesh Gosangari and Shriyan Kamsali and Sandhya Chiluveru.
Report by Viju Chiluveru