TAMA held Candlelight Vigil and paid
a tribute to Srinivas Kuchibhotla
With the tragic incident in Olathe, KS on February 22, where Srinivas Kuchibhotla was shot dead and Alok Madasani was injured by Adam Purinton,who levelled ethnic slurs at them and questioned their immigration status before he opened fire at a Kansas bar as a hate crime, it is an American Dream shattered for many of us migrated from India. Whether you came to this country and settled decades ago or fresh off the boat, the wounds caused are same for everyone.
On Sunday, March 6 Telugu Association of Metro Atlanta (TAMA) held a Candlelight Vigil to these victims and discuss ways to prevent such situations. About 80 people attended the event held at Chennai Express on State Bridge Road, Atlanta. Several of them expressed utter shock and anxiety over these incidents. Nagesh Doddaka, Chairman, Board of Directors of TAMA has expressed deep sorrow and condolences to the victims and their family. As asked the attendees to speak and express their thoughts, the first person to speak was Viju Chiluveru, former Director on the Board of TAMA. He gave a long list of reasons why there the jealousy and hatred is growing amongst Americans towards Indians especially the techies. Several tips were given to the audience that may help prevent these situations. Manjunath Gokare, an well-known Immigration Attorney said we all should show our solidarity and raise our voice. Sandhya Yellapragada, former President of TAMA suggest that we do a silent protest in downtown. Venkat Adusumalli, former Director too echoed the messages given out earlier – he suggested that we should ignore certain uncomfortable situations and move on.
Harsha Yerneni, current President of TAMA said we should volunteer at American non-profits. Vinay Maddineni, another former President, Venky Gadde, Secretary of TAMA, Rajesh Tadikamalla, Education Secretary shared their suggestions to live and work along with Americans to develop a good understanding between two cultures and lifestyles. Subbarao Maddali, current Board Secretary, said that we Indians do react or respond quickly and show emotions whereas American do not show emotions nor react. They do observe and act. Our altercations do not go beyond exchange of blows. One should be very vigilant as there are lot of guns in the country and danger can erupt from anywhere anytime.
Several Office Bears of TANA Atlanta Team were present at the occasion to share their experience in dealing with such traumatic situations. Anjaiah Lavu Chowdary, Community Services Coordinator gave an excellent insight into various tragic incidents, accidents, suicides, etc. in the Telugu Communication in the US and how his team responds and extends timely help. Through TANA Team Square, they were involved in sending the body of Srinivas Kuchibhotla to India.
Members of Maitri, a Seniors Citizens Club, Prabhakar Rao Kadiyala and Somayya Kasani expressed their concern and deep sorrow over these unfortunate incidents.
Others who spoke on the occasion are Bharath Maddineni, Technology Secretary of TAMA, Shailesh, Janakar, Kondal Nallajerla, Srikanth Madineni, Naresh Sreerama and Anand Akkineni. Prabhakar Kadiyala.
Later, the attendees have held a Candlelight Vigil and paid tribute to Srinivas Kuchibhotla.
Let’s hope that these incidents will not repeat and soon we will resume chasing the American Dream again. Be safe, apply caution at public places and leave the place in case you suspect an uncomfortable and unpleasant situation.