Rajahmundry: The state cultural festival ‘Nandi Natakotsavam’ for 2013 and 2014 begins in Rajahmundry on a grand note and nearly 2,500 artistes from both AP and TS will perform plays and playlets of social and mythological importance in the next 15 days at the renovated auditorium Anam Kala Kendram from 9.30 am to 10.30 pm.
The newly appointed East Godavari in-charge minister and minister for irrigation Devineni Uma Maheswara Rao and local ministers including Deputy Chief Minister N. Chinarajappa and minister for finance Yanamala Ramakrishundu were co-nspicuous by their abse-nce. Their preoccupation with official engagements is said to be the official excuse.
Minister for endowments P. Manikyala Rao, Rajahmundry MP M. Mu-rali Mohan Rao, MLAs Gorantla Buchaiah Cho-udhary, Akula Satyanarayana, MLC A. Appa Rao, ZP chairman N. Ra-mbabu, Mayor P. Rajani Sesha Sai, APFDC managing director N.V. Ramana Reddy and Collector H. Arun Kumar lit the traditional lamp to mark the inauguration of the Nandi festivities.
Addressing the people on the occasion here on Saturday, endowments minister Rao underlined the importance to develop Rajahmundry as a capital for the industry of film and the art to promote them in a big way. He called for addressing social maladies from the platform of art by presenting plays and playl-ets to bring about awareness among the people to shed such maladies and help promote peaceful co-existence.
He assured efforts for conduct of Kala Samaj-ams in temples also. MP M. Murali Mohan announced two names for getting NTR Rangas-thala award for two years and each one will get cash prize of Rs 1.50 lakh and a citation. The awar-dees are: P. Lakshamana Rao and N. Venkateswa-rlu. He thanked Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu for giving consent to conduct the Nandi Natakotsvam after a gap of two years in Rajahmu-ndry and wished that the CM would announce pension to the aged artists to the tune of Rs 1,500 during the valedictory session scheduled to be held on June 1.
He said that the CM also sanctioned `100 crore for setting up a training sc-hool for promotion of classical dance ‘Kuchipudi.’ He thanked the philanthropists who came forward to sponsor the daily expenses worth about `two lakhs to provide food to 2,500 artistes during the festivities.
MLA Gorantla Bucha-iah Choudhary felt the need to promote Telugu art and culture including Burra Katha, Hari Katha, Garaga Nrutyalu, Thappella Gullu and other forms of art in a big way. He vowed to install bronze statues of N.T. Rama Rao and artist Ramana Rao on banks of Godavari river. All the speakers called upon the people to provide patronage to the art and encourage the artistes