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:
Editor, Telugu Jyothi, a literary magazine published by TFAS, New Jersey.
Chairperson, Souvenir Committee, 13th TANA Conference, Philadelphia, PA.
Co-Chairperson, 2nd Business Entrepreneurs Conference, GOPIO, NY.
Member, International Telugu Institute, Telugu University, Hyderabad, AP.
2000 Board of Trustee, Sri Ranganatha Temple, Pomona, NY.
Co-Convener, First World Telugu Convention, New York, NY.
Chairperson, Miss/Mr. TANA Pageant, Atlanta, GA.
Chairperson, TANA Commerce Committee.
- 1989 Chairperson, First Overseas Indians Business and Technology Exposition, NY.
Chairperson, Miss/Mr. TANA Pageant, St. Louis, MO.
Christened the name TANA Patrika and wrote its First Editorial.
Chairperson, Reception Committee, First Asian Indian Convention, New York.
Editor, Telugu Velugu, a news letter published by TLCA, New York.
Member-in-charge, Cultural Activities of First TANA Conference, New York.
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.
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
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.