Padma Vibhushan Chiranjeevi Honours Padma Awardees
Megastar Chiranjeevi’s influence and stature extend beyond his legendary status as an actor. This was evident when he was honored with the Padma Vibhushan, the secondhighest civilian award in India, by the central government. In a heartwarming gesture, Chiranjeevi hosted a reception at his residence to celebrate and honor the Padma Shri awardees from Telangana. Among the distinguished guests were Yakshagana artist Gaddam Sammaiah and sculptor Dr Anandachari Velu, who were personally felicitated by Chiranjeevi.
Dasari Kondappa, a Burra Veena player from Narayanpet, and Gaddam Sammaiah, a Chindu Yakshaganam theater artist from Jangaon, were among the Padma Shri awardees from Telangana. Dr. Anandachari Velu, a renowned sculptor, was also honored for his contributions to the arts.
Gaddam Sammaiah, a seasoned Chindu Yakshaganam artist, has given over 19 thousand performances in the last 50 years, showcasing his dedication to the art form. He gained recognition for his portrayal of Keechakudi in the show Keechakavadha in 1985. Sammaiah has received numerous awards, including the Telugu University Merit Award in 1994, the Kala Ratna Award from the Governor at the Telugu University Anniversary in 1995, and the Telangana Abirbhava Award in 2017.
Dr. Anandachari Velu played a pivotal role in the reconstruction of the Yadadri temple, using Krishna stone as the primary material. As the Pradhan Sthapathi, he meticulously designed the stone sculptures and worked tirelessly to shape the walls of the octagonal mandapa in the Kakatiya, Dravida, and Chola styles of architecture. Velu received his initial training at the Shilpa College of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam and served as a Sthapathi of the Devadaya branch of the united Andhra Pradesh.
Chiranjeevi expressed his joy at Gaddam Sammaiah receiving the Padma Shri award for his efforts in preserving and promoting the endangered Chindu Yakshagana art form. He thanked the central government for recognizing such art forms and artists. Chiranjeevi also appealed to the central and state governments to provide support and protection to artists and their families, ensuring the preservation of Indias rich cultural heritage.
He congratulated Dr. Anandachari Velu for his innovative contributions to sculpture, particularly his role in the reconstruction of the Yadadri temple with Krishna stone.
Sammaiah and Velu expressed their happiness and gratitude for being invited to Chiranjeevis residence and honored by him. They considered the experience an unforgettable and cherished moment in their lives.