Philanthropist, Politician and a mother Kavitha Kalvakuntla is the founder and president of Telangana Jagruthi and the first woman MP from Telangana state.
Born in Karimnagar, Telangana she completed Engineering from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, post which she worked as a software engineer in the United States before returning to India in 2004 with a vision to work for the people of Telangana. Telangana Statehood & Paradigm shift The demand for Telangana statehood got a fresh impetus in 2006 with the resignation of its leader and then Union Minister, K Chandrashekhar Rao from the Union Cabinet to express his strong dissent with the Central Government for going back on the promise of formation of Telangana State. This inspired millions of people from Telangana to join the movement for Telangana statehood as many left their careers to join the movement. Kavitha too, joined the peoples’ movement at this juncture.
To get a first-hand knowledge of the problems affecting the people, Kavitha travelled at length in Telangana, touring even the remotest of villages. This journey led to a paradigm shift in Kavitha’s understanding of the Indian society in general and Telangana in particular. The magnitude of poverty, lack of basic needs like potable and irrigation water; unemployment and issues related to human rights and exploitation, deeply moved her, and the resolve to address these issues formed the basis for her setting up Telangana Jagruthi and joining the public realm.
Kavitha played a pivotal role in renewing and reinvigorating Bathukamma festival. Despite the widespread despair in Telangana, Kavitha observed that the Telangana people had a great love and enthusiasm for indigenous art and culture. This enthusiasm, she observed, prevailed across all sections of the society in Telangana. Kavitha believed that the love for indigenous arts could therefore be a common thread to bind all of these sections of the society together. Bathukamma festival which is central to the life and culture of millions in Telangana became a natural choice to bring people together. By celebrating Bathukamma on a large scale and involving people from all sections of the society, Kavitha aimed to instil a sense of pride in their own culture. Inspired by Kavitha’s efforts, thousands of spirited Telangana women participated in the Bathukamma celebrations giving a fresh breath of energy to the Telangana Movement. Bathukamma festival in turn played a huge role in achieving statehood for Telangana by uniting people and providing a unique platform to celebrate their shared identities. Since 2008, Kavitha has been actively involved with celebrating and promoting Bathukamma organized by volunteers from Telangana Jagruthi across Telangana and by Telangana people across the world.
Inspired by Kavitha’s leadership and Telangana Jagruthi’s work, members of Telangana diaspora from various countries volunteered to set up Telangana Jagruthi branches in their respective countries. Telangana Jagruthi now has presence across four continents and in countries including – India, USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland, Switzerland, Bahrain, Kuwait, Dubai, and Oman.
Kavitha appeals to Jagruthi branches and her tens of thousands of followers in various countries to provide voluntary and charitable services in their respective countries utilising the huge volunteer base and the organisational platform.
● Member of Parliament from Nizamabad constituency, Telangana, India
●Member of Steering Committee of Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) IndiaRegion
● Member of the Estimates Committee, the Standing Committee on Commerce and also on the Consultative Committee, Ministry of Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water and Sanitation
●First state chief commissioner of Telangana chapter of Bharat Scouts and Guides Association. Youngest person to hold this position in the country.
● She is active with Labour and Trade Unions and serves as Honorary President for
● Telangana Boggu Ganula Karmika Sangham – TBGKS (Singareni Coal Mines)
● Telangana Rashtra Vidyut Karmika Sangham – TRVKS – Electricity Employees Union.
●Telangana Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Association – TAWHA – An organization of Anganwadi workers.
● Vice President of India’s delegation to Cambodia and Laos
● Lok Sabha Speaker’s delegation to the European Parliament in Belgium
● Commonwealth Parliamentary Association CWP Delegation to the UK