Janaki Rani Turaga

Janaki Rani Turaga, a writer and broadcaster, has been involved in the fields of literature, social work, dance and radio broadcasting for the past sixty years.

A four-time University Topper in Andhra University, she won prizes in Indian History, Economics and Telugu, including the prestigious General Macdonald Medal for English. She went on to pursue her MA in Economics from Nizam College in Hyderabad. An active student leader, she addressed public gatherings at numerous places.

Janaki Rani Turaga

Akkineni felicitating Janaki Rani Turaga

with Daggubati Purandeswari

Professional Summary: After joining the Central Social Welfare Board in 1958, she has extensively toured the State to inspect voluntary social welfare institutions and has initiated Family and Child Welfare Projects in Tribal areas. She secured Orientation Certificates from the Madras School of Social Work. She edited the official magazine ‘Subhashini’ for nine years.

She joined All India Radio later in 1975 as a Producer and retired as Assistant Station Director (IBPS cadre) at Hyderabad in 1994. As a producer, she had handled planning, production and presentation of programmes for women, children, senior citizens and working women, with special focus on Panchayats and Universal Primary Education (Andariki Chaduvu), which involved collaborations with the Departments of Education and Panchayatraj, Osmania University and UNICEF. Her tapes educating women on Panchayats were specially called for and appreciated by the then Hon’ble Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi's Office.

Between 1991 and 1998, she worked closely with Departments of Women and Child Welfare, Social Welfare, and organizations such as UNICEF, Population India. One of the main IEC Campaigns designed by her was Bala Jagriti, a campaign in the unique format of children addressing children on Child Rights and Child Labour. Voluntary operation and maintenance of hand pumps, water conservation and ground water preservation have been the thematic points for another of the many campaigns designed and executed by her. Bala Jagriti scheme was emulated in Kannada by Karnataka UNICEF and in Urdu by UNICEF, Lucknow.

Communication Campaigns: She has produced audio campaign albums for UNICEF (Bala Jagriti), NCERT (for pre-school children), Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University, Stree Mela, Non-conventional Energy Development Corporation Nawagni (Smokeless Chulah), Save the Children, UK (on Children of PLHIV) in Telugu, Hindi and Oriya. She has also helped produce other communication material. These were pioneering efforts in the field of IEC.

She brought out a widely-distributed book of plays and songs in association with Andhra Mahila Sabha for pre-school children. Shows were held in slums and tribal areas using hand puppets also. She conducted CAP (Children And Police) programme for six months and contributed to Suraksha, the AP Police magazine. She has helped formulate International Labour Organisation ILO’s manuals and workbooks on child rights in Telugu for Dr MCRHRD Institute and has translated and coordinated the publication o of nearly nine hundred pages in toto and translated a series of nine books on Women and Law.

with Smt. Ranganayakamma, Smt. Bhanumati, Latha, and other writers

with JP and L V Subramanyam IAS

Literature: A popular and much-celebrated litterateur, she was the author of 27 books which include three short story anthologies, three novels, a collection of radio plays and features, five books for children and three translations among others. A noted writer in Telugu, she was conferred the Grihalakshmi Swarnakankanam (a golden bracelet in 1982) and was twice awarded the Best Writer PURASKARAM, given by the Telugu University to women writers of outstanding calibre. She wrote about a hundred short stories and some of them were translated to English, Hindi, Bengali, Kannada, Oriya Marathi and Tamil. She penned more than 500 articles for radio, TV, newspapers and magazines. She was profiled in TV programmes in ETV, Gemini, MAA TV, Vanitha, Mahaa TV, TV 9 etc. Doordarshan has produced a one-hour-long documentary on her.

Books published for children include The Story Of Red Cross and Bangaaru Pilaka for the National Book Trust, Rebuild India, a translation of Swami Vivekananda’s book, published by Ramakrishna Math, B.Nandam Gaari Asupatri, a collection of plays published by the Jawahar Bal Bhavan, Mithayi Pottlam, collection of stories published by the Publications Division.

Social Activism: A social activist, she was a Life Member and Executive Member of several organisations such as Andhra Yuvathi Mandali (for whom she edited six souvenirs commencing from the Silver Jubilee edition to Diamond Jubilee edition), Andhra Mahila Sabha, Andhra Balananda Sangham, SEED (Society for Energy, Environment and Development), Shramika Vidya Peeth, Mahila Federation etc. Conferred with titles of Naree Navya Margadarshini, Stree Hithaishini and Bala Bandhu. She was felicitated by Sanatana Dharma Parishat, SCRly Lalita Kala Samithi , Pingali Venkayya foundation, Manasa Art Theatres and 43 Mahila Mandals and UNICEF.

She participated in more than 50 seminars, workshops and conferences and herself conducted a few in several places in India and abroad. She was closely associated with Dr Jayaprakash Narayan, sharing responsibilities with him at Foundation for Democratic Reforms of Lok Satta.

with Vedantam Satyanarayana Sharma

with then Governor Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma

Broadcasting Career: She is a four-time Akashavani National Award Winner for her documentaries Nissabdamlo Prema Naadalu (Sounds of Love Amidst Silence) on the hearing impaired and Ashrayam (Shelter) about the Aged, and Chorus Songs by Children. Radio drama was her special strength and she believed in the goodness of broadcasting for social change. An expert on techniques of radio broadcasting, she addressed officers, staff and broadcasting professionals, mentoring young professionals. She continues to translate literary works and broadcast talks.

She conducted Children’s programmes on radio for twenty years. Many innovative series were introduced by her, especially motivating children to plant a sapling (nenoka mokka naataanu and Each One Teach One, making another person literate etc., She produced 45 jingles on good behaviour, health and nutrition which were borrowed by the National Institute of Nutrition. They were copied by the Madras station of AIR too. She conducted more than 50 Invited Audience programmes in Hyderabad and various districts.

Arts and Culture: Janaki Rani was multi-talented. A Natya Kala Bhushana Diploma Holder in Bharatanatyam, she choreographed ballets and group dances for Doordarshan and for stage performances. She herself performed up to the age of almost 40. She was also a light music singer, a newspaper columnist and has run a Television review column ‘TV Talk’ in The Indian Express for more than 500 weeks.