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Illinois governor commends Telugus in US

Last updated on: July 3, 2009 

Illinois governor commends Telugus in US

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George Joseph in New York
Thousands of Telugu-speaking Indian Americans gathered at the Rosemont Convention Centre in O'Hare, Chicago on Friday to participate in the 17th annual convention of Telugu Association of North America.

Welcoming the delegates, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn noted the oneness of humanity.

"We want to welcome the world to Illinois. We are one race, the human race. We need to work together. The people of India are exceptionally important for America," he said, speaking at the awards banquet of TANA, the first important event of the three-day convention.

Image: Illinois Governor Pat Quinn addressing the gathering
Photographs: George Joseph
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Quinn began the speech saying that the convention is important for the 13 million people of the Land of Lincoln and that they want to welcome the culture of India and get to know more about it.

The Illinois Governor said, "We are a community that believes in values -- of tolerance, unity and educational rights. I believe in democracy and you all believe in democracy. We want to work together with India the largest democracy, hand in hand culturally, economically and in other ways to benefit all."

The official inauguration of the event is scheduled for Friday morning and India's Ambassador to US Meera Shankar will be one of the main speakers. Andhra Pradesh ministers and National Knowledge Commission chairman Sam Pitroda will also speak at the event.


Image: Delegates listen to the Illinois governor's speech

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TANA President Prakash Chaudhury Kakarala thanked the governor and welcomed the gathering. A number of people, who excelled in their works and a few others, noted for their selfless service to the community were honoured at the event. Quinn presented plaques to them.

The convention centre turned into a mini India with women and children dressed in colourful dresses and all around festivities. A number of guests from India attended the event, including Andhra Pradesh ministers Galla Arunakumari and Mopidevi Venkataramana; film personalities Gollapudi Maruthirao, Murali Mohan, Rajeev Kanakala, AVS, and Vitej; singers SP Balasubramaniam, Mano and Sunita; noted writers Siri Vennela Seetharama Sastry, Saddala Ashok Teja, and Andhe Sri.


Image: Quinn presents community awards

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"Everything is going well as planned. 5000 to 6000 people from all over the country will attend the event," Kakarala and Prasad Thotakura, general secretary and president-elect, said.

Various seminars, religious events and cultural programmes are scheduled at several venues during the next two days.

The convention will end with a musical concert by renowned singer SP Balasubramaniam. A sizeable number of participants are youth, who have several separate programmes.


Image: Quinn and TANA President Prakash Chaudhury Kakarala interact with delegates

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