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Nataraja Natyanjali’s Kuchipudi dance drama raises $715,000 for Sankara Nethralaya USA

Atlanta, GA, December 2, 2023: Dr. S.S. Badrinath, a Padma Bhushan awardee, established Sankara Nethralaya (SN) in 1978 with the primary goal of providing world-class eye care for free to the poor and at an affordable price to others.

Neelima Gaddamanugu, the founder of Nataraja Natyanjali and a Trustee of Sankara Nethralaya USA (SN USA), orchestrated a fundraising event on November 5th, 2023, aimed at restoring vision for indigent patients. In this noble cause, seventy-one students performed in the Ananda Leela Kuchipudi Dance Drama, portraying the life of Lord Krishna from childhood to the Bhagavad Gita. “We express gratitude for your support for noble causes in India and the USA, thanking you for your unwavering support for Sankara Nethralaya.
You embody the spirit of “Natya Mayuri” in every sense,” the leadership team of Sankara Nethralaya USA told Ms. Gaddamanugu.

Photos by Venkat Kuttua.

Siva Gaddamanugu, co-founder of Nataraja Natyanjali, and numerous volunteers worked tirelessly for months to organize this event.

A staggering USD $715,000 was raised through this event, enabling SN USA to sponsor 11,000 cataract surgeries for indigent patients. Applause resounded as Sri. Bala Reddy Indurti, President of SN USA, announced this significant contribution.

Sri. S.V. Acharya, a resident of Rockville, Maryland, founded Sankara Nethralaya USA 35 years ago and has consistently served this noble cause since then. Through this Trust, the vision of lakhs of people has been restored. We acknowledge Sri. Acharya’s outstanding vision, dedication, and commitment to SN USA. In honor of 35 years of service, he is bestowed with the “Lifetime Achievement Award.” Sri. Acharya’s wife, Smt. Nirmala, also graced the event.

The Mobile Eye Surgical Unit (MESU) is a hospital on wheels covering a 500-kilometer radius. Each MESU consists of two buses, conducting surgeries in remote villages. One bus serves as a preparatory unit, and the other as an operating theater.

Sri. Anand Babu Dasari, a resident of Dallas, Texas, generously donated $100,000 and pledged an additional $80,000 to set up a MESU based off Puttaparthi, covering Karnataka, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh states. We are grateful for your support for noble causes in India and global communities and thank you for your unwavering support for Sankara Nethralaya. You truly embody “Dheena Bandhu.” Renowned philanthropist Anith Reddy Thimmaluru also traveled from India to support Anand Dasari.

Sri. Udaya Bhaskar Ganti, a resident of Rockville, Maryland, donated $95,000 and pledged $50,000 more to set up a MESU based off Visakhapatnam, covering Coastal Andhra Pradesh and Odisha states. We acknowledge your support for noble causes in India and global communities and thank you for your unwavering support for Sankara Nethralaya. You truly embody “Dheena Bandhu.” Bhaskar Ganti’s wife, Rohini Garu, also attended the event.

Sri. Moorthy & Smt. Madhavi Rekapalli pledged $100,000 and will contribute $10,000 annually towards establishing a MESU unit. Sri. Pramod Sajja, a resident of Atlanta and a well-known philanthropist for many community events, attended as a Guest of Honor. Sankara Nethralaya USA appreciated Pramod for his continued support.

The generosity of these mega donors was widely appreciated. Several individuals sponsored the MESU Adopt-A-Village program to restore the vision of indigent patients in their native places. Adoption for villages within a 300-kilometer radius of the base hospital is $12,500, while those within 300 – 500 kilometers radius is $15,000.

Adopt-A-Village sponsors: Prasanna Kumar in memory of his late wife, Dr. Uma M. Kumar; Dr. Subrahmanyam K. Naidu, Trustee Hindu Temple of Atlanta; Dr. B. Krishna Mohan and Rajyam; Bala Reddy Indurti and Madhavi; Madadi Family (Bharath and Vamshi); Srini Reddy Vangimalla & Deepa; Ramesh Chaparala & Bhavani; Rajasekhar Aila & Jyothy; Dr. Kishore Reddy Rasamallu & Deepthi; Karunkar Asireddy & Prashanthi; Kiran Reddy Pasham & Swapna; Murali Sajja & Prema; Rajesh Tadikamalla & Sirisha Juluru; Dr. Madhuri Garimella & Prasad; Ramesh Yerneni; Neelima Gaddamanugu & Siva; Meher Lanka & Vijaya; Anith Reddy Thummaluru; Sabitha Pamulapati; Sateesh Kumar Segu; SR

SN USA President Sri. Bala Indurti elaborated on the upcoming MESU projects, their coverage, and the tireless efforts of Trustees and Volunteers working towards eradicating preventable blindness in India through fundraising events in various cities. The audience applauded SN USA’s endeavors in restoring vision for indigent patients. Special thanks were extended to SN USA Trustees from Atlanta, including Sri. Moorthy Rekapalli, Sri. Srini Reddy Vangimalla, Smt. Neelima Gaddamanugu, Sri. Meher Lanka, Sri. Upendra Rachupally, Dr. Madhuri Namuduri, Sri. Rajasekhar Reddy Aila, Sri. Sridhar Rao Julapally, Sri. Suresh Vemulamada, and Sri. Ramesh Chaparala.

Several community leaders and major donors who contributed to this event and cause were honored by SN USA: Veena Rao from NRI Pulse; Satish Musunuri, Sri Krishna Vilas Restaurant; Viju Chiluveru; Venkat Duggireddy; Prasad Banala; Satyanarayan Reddy Kancharla.

Masters of the Ceremony, Smt. Malathi Nagabhairava & Smt. Shilpa Uppuluri, did an excellent job explaining Sankara Nethralaya and the Nataraja Natyanjali Kuchipudi dance drama, Ananda Leela. Alongside them, several individuals were recognized for their efforts – Eeshwari Ballari, Aruna Dhavaleswarapu, Kathyayini Pinnika, Santhi Medicharla, Raghunandan Nallanchakravathula, Usha Mocherla, Laasya Ananthu, Venkat Kattuva, Raghu Valusani, Amsh Gaddamanugu.

SN Event Photo Gallery:

Mega Donor’s appreciation TV links:

  1. Mana TV Coverage:
  2. Sakshi TV Coverage:
  3. TV5 Coverage:
  4. Telugu One TV Coverage:
  5. Telugu NRI Radio Coverage:

The Vote of Thanks was given by SN USA Vice President Moorthy Rekapalli. The program concluded with the national anthems of India and the USA.

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