On the occasion of this fourth AKKA WKC I would like to ruminate
in black and white about her evolution, current state, as well
as her future. Periodical soul searching assures us of a better
footing. AKKA's impressive growth in the last couple years has
exceeded our fondest expectations. With our well-crafted
and well-thumbed constitutions to refer to, with our officers
duties everyday becoming ever more well-defined, with our well-oiled
links to the culture's keepers in Karnataka, our biennial conferences
and our charity work, AKKA is fast becoming the cultural mainstay of
expatriate Kannadigas. As AKKA's president these past two years,
it has been my privilege and honor to oversee and aid in the organization's
tremendous growth. Although this is a feel good time I balk at
whitewashing and romanticizing the course of events. There is plenty
of room for improvement, and will tackle pertinent issues one at a time:
Firstly, even though the current AKKA is deservedly invested with
all the dignity of a reputed international organization, her membership
needs to grow. I cannot emphasize this enough. If with only a fraction
of the nearly 80,000 expatriate Kannadigas in her fold AKKA can become
such a force just imagine what might be achieved if even half that number
become active members! We are currently in the midst of a membership drive.
I, personally, have recruited quite a few to her rolls recently.
However, we need to do more.
Secondly, we need more involvement at the kootas level. Local
koota office bearers should become actively involved in AKKA and
enter her fold as a branch, a tributary.
This will not only strengthen ties with the national organization,
but will also serve to increase membership.
On the brighter side, Kannadigas in Karnataka are now very aware of
AKKA and her gala biennial conferences. AKKA WKCs are big news over
there. As a matter of fact, we receive cultural aid in the manner of
iconic artists, at the government level.
Also, AKKA charities are making a profound difference at the grass roots level.
With the very successful "Manoranjani" variety entertainment tour we managed to
raise nearly 75,000 dollars for Karnataka schools. We are going to tackle the
pecuniary troubles of Karnataka hospitals next.
As AKKA's outgoing president I wish my successor all the best. AKKA has been
nursed from a vulnerable fledgling to her present state with a great deal
of love and pride. She is now ready to spread her wings and soar. With such
growth in stature come mighty responsibilities. The executive committee, the
board and local organizations should operate in unison and harmony to take her
to the next level. Her future is limitless -
President of AKKA