Brief History of Amruthavani:
The origin of the Amruthavani Communication Centre goes back to some chance happenings in the early 1960s. Around that time, Fr. Arulappa, the late Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore, was sent out Madras free Telugu publications and information about Christ, to interested Telugu non-Christians. Because of the rapid increase in the number of such requests and because of the realization that the requests of the Telugus must be met from Andhra Pradesh itself, Fr. Arulappa approached the Fathers of St. John’s Seminary, then located in Nellore, inviting them to take up this apostolate. The professors, together with the students, accepted enthusiastically the request of Fr. Arulappa and began sending out those pamphlests printed by him and answered questions and enquiries through personal correspondence. In 1965, the seminary was shifted from Nellore to Hyderabad and Fr. Wijngaards was assigned to the seminary and he took keen interest in the information service.
As the work progressed and increased, the staff and the seminarians felt the enormity of this apostolate. By 1967, the seminary professors felt the information service had reached a stage, which was beyond the limits and capacity of the seminarians. Hence, it was decided to transfer the Centre to some location within Secunderabad. It was at this time that Fr. Winjngaards took over the work personally and approached Most Rev. Mark Gopu, the then Bishop of Hyderabad. The latter offered him some old classrooms at St. Parick’s School and from there it passed through various stages and finally settled down on the second floor of St. Mary’s High School, Secunderabad.
Recognizing the great value of lively arts for communicating God’s truth, the Centre began to undertake the Burra Kadha apostolate. Then came the departments of re-orientation seminars, radio broadcasting, film and arts and other departments. Thus the very growth and expansion of the Centre was the outcome of its determination to make it authentic and native.
At this juncture, another important person helped the growth of Amruthavani, namely, Archbishop Samineni Arulappa, the former Archbishop of Hyderabad. In 1973, he allocated a substantial area, carved out of Widows’ Home, to Communication Centre. Besides, in the same year, Fr. M.M. Balaguer SJ joined the Information Centre as its Director. The construction of the present office building, Vani Nilayam, was started in October 1973 and was completed by December 1974. Archbishop Arulappa officially inaugurated the new building on the 14th of January 1975. In the same year Fr. Balaguer wanted to give an Indian name to this Centre and there was a contest for suggesting the best name. After considering various possibilities, the name “Amruthavani” (the sweet immortal voice) was selected.
Aims and Motto:
In 1976, the vision of Amruthavani was perceived as ‘a collaborator in the traditional forms of apostolate; a pathfinder in new forms of media apostolate; a pioneer in exploring newer forms of ministry and apostolate. Thus there were three main avenues:
a) Rakshana Sandesam: To proclaim the good news to all Telugu speaking persons by using all means of mass communications;
b) Dharma Vijayam: To dialogue with all persons of on the values of the Kingdom starting with the principle of justice so as to form the right values in the community by using all the means of mass communication.
c) Sikshana Vedam: To train the general public in media education and media production techniques.
Objectives of Amruthavani:
To communicate the message of Jesus Christ through different media;·
To train people in the field of communication in the work of evangelisation;
To enhance the value and dignity of the media;
To serve as a resource center in the field of communications and media;
To develop different cultural forms of communication with emphasis on evangelisation;