Famous revolutionary & people’s poet balladeer Vangapandu Prasada Rao (78) famously known as Vangapandu in both Telugu states passed away early hours on Thursday at his native place Pedabondaplli in Parvathipura Mandal of Vizianagaram district. He is survived by wife Vijayalakshmi, three sons and a daughter Vangapandu Usha, who is also a balladeer and now head of the AP state creative and culture wing. He worked in Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) from 1976 to 1999.
He established Jana Natyamandali in 1972. He received Kalaratna Purashkar in 2017. He inspired people through his folk songs. Vangapandu, known for multiple talents of composing, singing, and dancing. Vangapandu had a unique quality that he could write songs, sing and also dance. His voice mesmerized many youths and gave the inspiration to take up the revolutionary path. He was associated with the revolutionary movement for many decades along with Gaddar. His song – Sutti kodavali gurtugaa vunna errani jendaa eegurutunnadi … was the song for People’s War Group Naxals flag song till it had become CPI Maoists. He had written Yeruvaka and Polikeka books of songs. Vangapadu was one of the members of Jana Natya Mandali (JNM), the cultural wing of the People’s War Group. He has written more than 400 songs in the past five decades. He even sang for Telugu revolutionary movies directed by famous director T Krishna and others. He gave more than 2000 performances not only in undivided AP but also in various parts of India.
Gaddar condoled the death of Vangapandu. He said that ‘Vangapandu Prasada Rao will be remembered forever. He sang more than 400 songs and some of his songs have been translated into 10 other languages. He was also the visiting professor of Andhra University theatre of arts wing and trained youth to sing and dance to the songs. The state government felicitated him with Kala Ratna award in 2017. He was also facilitated with, Suddala Hanumanthu national award Sangita Ratna and TANA’s Akkineni Foundation award of Rangastala Ratna.
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