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4th AKKA WKC 2006 (Fourth AKKA World Kannada Conference)

4th AKKA WKC 2006 was hosted by Kaveri Kannada Association of Maryland, Washington DC and Virginia during September 1-3, 2006. Held under the banner of Association of Kannada Kootas of America, this conference was the biggest of all three conferences hosted earlier. Total budget of this conference was over a million dollar. Over 4000 Kannadigas from all around the world attended the conference. The three day extravanza featured over 500 artists from Karnataka, US, Canada, Singapore and Switzerland. Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka Mr. Yediyurappa, Home Minister of Karnataka Mr. M.P. Prakash, Sri Sri Ravishankar of Art Of Living, Sri Veerendra Haggade of Dharmasthala and the representatives of the Maryland government and Mayor of Baltimore were among the dignitories that inagurated the conference on the first day. Earlier in the day, on September 1st, Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravishankar held a workshop on meditation and yoga that was attended by over 200 people. Also, the business forum that featured businesses from all sizes and sectors discussed various ways to network and extending and exploring business oppurtunities between Karnataka and US.

History

Registered in Florida as a non-profit organization, AKKA - Tax ID Number 59-3527607 - is dedicated to promoting cultural, artistic, business and social relations among the Kannada speaking communities within the United States. Indeed, AKKA, in association with the various state based associations – called Kootas, has fostered life long bonds between members residing in the United States and their counterparts in India, particularly in the State of Karnataka. In furtherance of these objectives, AKKA and the concerned Kannada association hold an International Conference in a different major US city every two years. To date, the cities of Houston (2000), Detroit (2002), Orlando (2004) and Washinton DC (2006) have hosted conferences attracting several thousand people from across the US as well as a significant number from India and other countries. The 2006 Conference was hosted Kaveri, the Kannada association serving the areas of Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia

The Conference offers a wide range of activities including literary & cultural programs, a business forum, a women's forum, youth -oriented activities and continuing medical education. In turn, this many faceted programs provide new opportunities for community members to rediscover their culture & heritage, promote social & business relations and promote global harmony. Conference also provides a unique opportunity for the youth to network and exchange ideas on contemporary issues such as education and career development.

Road to the conference 2006

A team of Kaveri members, after attending AKKA WKC 2002 at Houston started dreaming about hosting a conference at Kaveri. For the first time the idea of hosting a confernece was raised at the general body meeting of 2000 when Mr. Ravi Harapanahalli was the President of Kaveri. Mr. Harpanhalli suggested that Kaveri should host 2002 conference itself. However, the general body felt that it was too early and expressed doubt that a conference of that magnitude could indeed by hosted in DC area. GB then appointed Mr. Rajshekar Doddanna to head a one man WKC exporatory committee. With no decisions till 2003, the then Kaveri president Mr. Sanjay Rao reopened the discussion by forming an email group and involving all former Presidents. Mr. Ravi Dankanikote (Kaveri President 2002) was the first one to express interest to head the conference committee. Though quite a few presidents of Kaveri expressed interest in hosting the conference nothing concrete came out of the email discussion. In August 2004, Mr. Suresh Ramachandran hosted a party at his house to initiate the dialog. With the third conference in


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