Some notable Kannadigas (Alphabetical List)
Dr K S Bhanumathi
Affectionately known as Bhanu, Dr Bhanumathi qualified from Bangalore Medical college and came to the UK in 1968. She practised as a GP in Glossop. During her term of office as President she was instrumental in conducting three landmark events of Kannada Balaga – first ever Vishwa Kannadigara Sammelana outside India, Rajatha Mahotsava (25th anniversary) and 30th anniversary of Kannada Balaga.
Bhanu is also well known in medical fraternity not only in the local medical committees of Derbyshire but most importantly was elected to serve on the General Medical Council, the first Kannadiga to do so.
In April 2018, the Royal College of General Practitioners honoured Bhanu for her distinguished contribution to the medical profession.
She is also a recipient of Rajyotsava Award from the Karnataka Government.
Dr Rajaram Cavale (1937 - 2016)
Dr Cavale often described himself as the senior civil servant of Kannada Balaga. He came to the UK in 1966 after graduating from Bangalore Medical College. His family has been in the medical profession for six generations.
He was responsible for various literary activities and was the editor of Sandesha for many years. He had an excellent knowledge of technology and was the first to send group email communications to all members. He had even mastered the use of the kannada typewriter before the advent of computers.
He was a General Practitioner in Glossop and Basingstoke. He also worked as a consultant in the Royal Medical Centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Post retirement he volunteered in the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Dr Sneha Kulkarni
Dr Sneha Kulkarni was the first President of Kannada Balaga. Dr Sneha Kulkarni and husband Dr Aravind Kulkarni, alongwith four passionate and close-knit Kannada families, were instrumental in establishing KBUK in 1982. She has contributed immensely to Kannada community and hosted several KBUK events under her leadership.
Dr Kulkarni completed medical training in Mumbai and came to UK in 1968. She has once again been elected as the President of Kannada Balaga in 2019.
Dr Sneha Kulkarni cites her husband as her major driving force, always working behind the scenes for the progress of KBUK. Their burning ambition is to leave behind a memorable legacy of Kannada culture and heritage for future generations.
Post retirement, they have kept up their voluntary work in Euro-Asian Day Care Centre for Elderly, supporting eductaion for underpriviliged children in India and being involved in charities in UK and India.
Dr Nanda Kumara
Dr Nanda Kumara is originally from Matthur near Shivamogga. He came to the UK in 1977 after obtaining an MA in Sanskrit. He joined Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan to teach and also completed a PhD degree in London. Currently he is the Executive Director of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in London. He is largely responsible for spreading Indian culture in the UK. The Bhavan in Kensington teaches sanskrit, dance and music to hundreds of students. He is a recipient of Rajyotsava award from Karnataka.
He is also a poet who has composed many poems in Kannada.
Dr P V Nath
Dr Nath, who hails from Hosapete, came to the UK in 1968 after finishing his medical degree from Mysore Medical college. He has lived in Stanley in the NE of England since the seventies. Has served as a Vice President of Kannada Balaga from 1998-2001 and has been very active in promoting Kannada and culture and started Kala Premi, a cultural organisation. He conducts international seminars on Bhagavat Gita and has authored a book on Bhagavad Gita – Tat Tvam Asi.
After the 1982 Falklands conflict, Dr Nath established contact with Stanley, the capital of this island and raised money to help children there. He was invited to the island’s 150th anniversary.
In recognition of his efforts for various charities he was awarded MBE and Karnataka Government’s Rajyotsava award.
Dr Neeraj Patil
Dr Neeraj Patil was the first Mayor of Indian origin in the London borough of Lambeth who built statue of Basaveshwara on the banks of river Thames opposite the British Parliament. This was a first conceptual statue approved by British Government in the vicinity of British Parliament. The Prime Minister of India unveiled this statue on 14th Nov 2015.
Dr Neeraj Patil hails from Kalburgi, a Consultant in A&E who has served the NHS for 25 years and was also a Governor of Guy’s and St Thomas hospital and King’s college hospital London. He was elected as a Councillor in London borough of Lambeth in 2006 & 2010. He has served on the NEC (BAME) & NPF of the Labour party. Dr Patil is a recipient of Rajyotsava award.
Prof. Bangalore S Satyaprakash
A life member of Kannada Balaga, Prof. Satya Prakash has made an outstanding contribution in the field of Gravitational Waves. He was a Professor of Physics at Cardiff University before joining Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, where he is the Elsbach Professor of Physics and Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics.
He is a recipient of many outstanding awards including the Cardiff University Vice-Chancellor’s award for outstanding contributions in his field. He won a Science Breakthrough Prize and Medal for his contributions to Gravitational Wave Detection discovery in 2015.
Dr Suryanarayana Setty
After his medical degree from Bangalore Medical college, Dr Setty worked in Oldham General Hospital for a number of years. He is a life member of Kannada Balaga and is also involved in various local charities and has served as the President of Oldham Hindu Temple. He has actively supported Ramakrishna Medical Run by Swami Japananda Centre in Pavagada, Karnataka. Dr Setty is a recipient of MBE for his community services. He is the recipient of Karnataka Rajyotsava award.
K Thammaiah (1935 - 2011)
Keeki Thammaiah was a Life Member of Kannada Balaga. He hailed from Kodagu. He worked as an advocate in Bengaluru. He arrived in Britain in 1964, and taught Business Law at institutions including Westminster College for a number of years.
He was elected as a Labour Councillor in 1994 and later on became the first Asian (and the first Kannadiga) Mayor for the Borough of Harrow. A champion of Karnataka culture, with its rich tradition of Kannada literature and performing arts, Keeki supported initiatives that helped younger generations living in Britain to engage with this culture. He was the first to start Kannada Kali classes in the early nineties.
Mr Thammaiah passed away at the age of 76. He is survived by wife Naila and son Ponnu.