21 Apr 2015: Dr Velchala Kondal Rao feted with Lifetime Achievement Award

Photo: Dr Kondal Rao receiving the citation from Dr C Narayana Reddy (seated) 

Dr Velchala Kondal Rao, an efficient educationist and a prolific writer, was felicitated with Lifetime Achievement Award in a function at Ravindra Bharati, Hyderabad on April 20, 2015 by a literary-cultural organisation Saampradaya in association with the Department of Language & Culture, Government of Telangana.  The partners of the event included Andhra Bank, Country Oven, Prasads, The Hindu and Metroplus. 

Starting off with a melodious traditional invocation to Goddess Saraswati in Sanskrit, the function was presided over by Jnan Pith Awardee Dr C Narayana Reddy. The occasion saw a number of poets from Telangana reciting their poetry and being felicitated too.   

Dr Narayana Reddy recalled his school days when Dr Kondal Rao was his classmate. Kondal Rao defied the Nizam diktat against singing of Vande Mataram and courted imprisonment. Dr Kondal Rao has the writing acumen in his genes, for his father Velchala Keshav Rao was a competent poet in the traditional mould inspired by the literary colossus, Jnan Pith Awardee Viswanatha Satyanarayana, recollected Dr Narayana Reddy. The friendship between Keshav Rao and Satyanarayana was so great that the latter dedicated one of his works to him. Dr Kondal Rao who as a student leader got Viswanatha address the college gathering became himself his colleague in the years to come when Viswanatha was appointed principal of SRR Degree College, Karimnagar.  The gathering recalled how in that students meet Viswanatha spoke in chaste English, that too on Karl Marx. An ardent fan of Viswanatha, Dr Kondal Rao has been rendering a yeoman’s service to the cause of Telugu literature by founding the Viswanatha Sahitee Peetham. Reviving the Jayanti literary magazine, originally started by Viswanatha in 1927 and later on revived in 1958 by Juvvadi Gowtham Rao for a brief time, Dr Kondal Rao has been successfully running it for the last 12 years. He is also the founder editor of Business Vision, a management journal.  

His tenure as principal of SRR Degree College (Karimnagar) and SKNR Degree College (Jagtial) was marked with unforgettable innovations. Elected to the Executive Council of the Osmania University with a big majority, he later on rose to be the Director of Telugu Academy where he imaginatively strengthened its activities and made use of latest technology. Retirement from government service did not put a stop to his interest in the field of education.  He started a chain of educational institutions under the Vivekananda Educational Society and the Sister Nivedita Foundation which he established aiming at value-based quality education, with the unstinted support of his family members.  

An essayist, poet and translator, Dr Kondal Rao has authored alarge number books. His trans-creation from Telugu of KBG Tilak’s “Vennela Kurisina Ratri” under the title The Night the Nectar Rained won him the PS Telugu University prize (2007). And in 2009 the same university conferred an honorary doctorate on him, in recognition of his contribution as an educationist. Dr Kondal Rao would be 83 on July 21, 2015.   

(Report by: U Atreya Sarma. Apr 21, 2015)

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