Dr. Kidambi Raghunath, a house hold name for a large Telugu community, President, International Products and Technology Exchange, and a metallurgist of international repute passed away on October 25th, 2003, in South Plainfield, New Jersey, USA. He survived by his wife Prabha, daughter Usha, son in law Shamsundar, and grandson Srinath.
Dr. Raghunath was born to Sri Kidambi Narasimhacharyulau and Smt Ambujamma in 1944. Hailing from a small town Vanaparthi in Mehaboobnagar, Andhra Pradesh in India Dr. Raghunath obtained M.Sc. from Osmania University in 1964, M.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur in1968, and Ph.D. in Materials and Metallurgical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ in 1977.
Dr. Raghunath contributed extensively to the field of solar selective coatings. He designed, manufactured and marketed solar selective coating material in over 40 countries including India. His improvements to the solar selective coatings made it possible to offer a 30-year warranty on products using the technology. He was also involved in the design of continuous plating operation and wastewater treatment. He marketed and sold material for photo-voltaic modules exclusively to India and metal and metal oxide powders worldwide.
Dr. Raghunath's other areas of research included improvement to the mechanical properties of Nickel Electro deposits for which he received a grant from the America Electroplating Society and he was awarded a Ph.D. His research findings on the surface tension characteristics of tungsten and corrosion phenomenon of other high temperature materials were well received by his fellow scientists. He was an expert environmental issues concerning Electro deposition.
While he is famous in his profession in materials and metallurgy, his greatest possession was enrichment of Telugu culture. Dr. Raghunath was appointed as the Life-Time editor for Telugu Jyothi, a largely circulated monthly magazine since 1984. A great organizer of Indian functions and celebrations, he held several distinguished positions -- member, coordinator, chairman of numerous committees and conventions related to culture, literature and business over a period of three decades in USA and in India. The following positions he held were the most notable:
- 1984 - Editor, Telugu Jyothi, a literary magazine published by TFAS, New Jersey.
- 2001 Chairperson, Souvenir Committee, 13th TANA Conference, Philadelphia, PA.
- 2001 Co-Chairperson, 2nd Business Entrepreneurs Conference, GOPIO, NY.
- 2000 Member, International Telugu Institute, Telugu University, Hyderabad, AP.
- 1998 - 2000 Board of Trustee, Sri Ranganatha Temple, Pomona, NY.
- 1993 Co-Convener, First World Telugu Convention, New York, NY.
- 1991 Chairperson, Miss/Mr. TANA Pageant, Atlanta, GA.
- 1989-91 Chairperson, TANA Commerce Committee.
- 1989 Chairperson, First Overseas Indians Business and Technology Exposition, NY.
- 1988 Chairperson, Miss/Mr. TANA Pageant, St. Louis, MO.
- 1983 Christened the name TANA Patrika and wrote its First Editorial.
- 1980 Chairperson, Reception Committee, First Asian Indian Convention, New York.
- 1979-1983 Editor, Telugu Velugu, a news letter published by TLCA, New York.
- 1977 Member-in-charge, Cultural Activities of First TANA Conference, New York.
- 1972 Organized and participated in several cultural events in the Tri-state Area.
In his untiring efforts to promote Telugu culture and literature he helped organize tours/functions of several celebrities like Mandolin Srinivas, Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam, Dr. S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Dr. C. Narayana Reddy, Dr. Pappu Venugopala Rao, Ms. Shobha Naidu, Ms. Alekhya Punjala, Ms. Vedavathi Prabhakar, Dr. M. Chenna Reddy. His contributions and help to establish Vegesna Padmavathi School for handicapped in Hyderabad is one of the well-known examples of his philanthropy.
Dr. Raghunath received several awards for his philanthropic and charitable services and some of the significant awards were, Vamsee Gold Medal for Social Service, TLCA Award for Excellent Service, TFAS Award for Editorship, Delhi Telugu Association Ugadi Puraskar, AP Government Distinguished Telugu Award, Kalanilayam Visishta Puraskar, and Vemuri Chandravathi Ramanadham Memorial Trust Award.
Dr. Raghunath believed that Language and dress, traditions and philosophy, music, dance and writings are basic tenets of any culture and if the culture has to survive, these values must be nourished and preserved. He was proud to be a born as Telugu person. Through TANA, his only goal was to inculcate in Telugus who immigrated to or are born in US, affection towards Telugu language, its traditions and its genre so that the Telugu flag furls high forever.
Dr. Kidambi Raghunath was a guide, philosopher, guru, and role model for many people settling and prospering in USA. His sudden departure leaves a great void for many immigrant Telugus in USA. His life and activities are inspirational to all immigrants who are interested in Telugu literature and culture.