Daijiworld Media Network - Bengaluru
Bengaluru, Feb 3: Ronald Colaco joined for breakfast with the new President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, on February 2, at 7.30 am at the Washington Hilton near the White House in Washington DC along with the members of Congress, government officials, leaders from throughout the United States, diplomatic community and specially chosen delegates from over 140 countries.
NRI businessman Ronald Colaco, well-known worldwide as a philanthropist, is one of the few individuals from India along with those from other countries, to be a special invitee on this occasion. Senators John Boozman and Christopher Coons, calling the special invitees as friends of America, had extended a personally signed invitation to Colaco for and on behalf of the Congressional Host Committee headed by 14 Senators and 13 high ranking Representatives, to participate in the 65th Annual National Prayer Breakfast which was held on February 2 in Washington DC.
Colaco joined this three-day annual event held from January 31 to February 2, wherein select delegates chosen from all communities and religions from across the Globe congregated to share the spirit of friendship through prayer and thanksgiving and to spread the message of universal love and brotherhood. This international gathering is of great importance as it is aimed at setting aside differences and building personal relationships. It also helps deepen international ties among people and countries through the love of God and care for each other.
This year’s event has special significance as Donald Trump took over as the President of the US just a few days ago and there is an air of excitement in the entire country and panic among immigrants.
Reacting to the special invite he received to be a part of this global gathering Ronald Colaco said, "It is indeed a great honour and privilege to represent my country, India, to have breakfast with the President of the US, the most powerful country in the world and other powerful leaders and that too soon after new president Donald Trump assumed office recently. I am very excited and consider it my good fortune to have participated in this global gathering which was attended Congressmen, top leaders and officials of US apart from the US President. I am also quite thrilled because I could meet representatives from different countries of the world who participated in this event. I believe this exposure would benefit me a great deal in strengthening contacts and establishing good relationship with leaders at a global level. I will cherish this experience for the rest of my life."
Colaco said that Donald Trump sounded sincere and impressed the gathering with his extempore speech. He talked about doing everything in his power to defend and protect religious liberty of American people. He also stressed on the importance of freedom saying, "It is a gift from god and not from the government and now that freedom is threatened by terrorism. And therefore his administration would work for safeguarding the interests of people of different faiths and religion so long as people don’t take unfair advantage of the freedom to spread hatred and venom."
Colaco said Trump who spoke for more than 20 minutes called upon nations to fight together against acts of violence saying it is the moral obligation of every nation to work together against those spreading terror and he said those getting admitted into the country should embrace American values. He also emphasised that America as a nation would flourish only if religious freedom is allowed.
About Ronald Colaco
Ronald Colaco is a NRI businessman based in Dubai, whose ancestors originally hailing from Moodbidri in Mangaluru taluk. He started his professional career in Oman during 1975 and worked in 8 Gulf and European countries starting as an accountant and moved on to become head of accounts, head of accounts and administration and financial controller. He was elevated as commercial CEO for a consortium of 3 multinational corporates like CCICL based in Athens, Greece, Mannesmann of Germany and Saipemof Milano, Italy, involved in turn-key projects such as construction of world class petro-refineries, gas processing and re-injection plants, townships and airports.
He put his rich experience in diverse capacities to good use to become an entrepreneur and since then it has been a saga of success all the way. Through his business acumen, hard work, dedication and disciplined approach Ronald Colaco has become a successful entrepreneur of great repute.
Contributions to society through social, charitable and philanthropic activities
Apart from being a successful entrepreneur in his own right, Ronald Colaco has been very active in promoting socio-cultural, charitable and philanthropic activities in his endeavour to give back to the society that he has come from, in a big way. His largesse has benefitted the poor and the needy people and various institutions and organisations irrespective of caste, creed, race, religion and language. He has been a pioneer in providing infrastructure facilities for the benefit of the larger public and has set a precedent for others to follow. Many MNC’s and Corporates followed in his footsteps to carry out their corporate social responsibility, resulting in creating essential international standard infrastructure in the State. He says “these acts of caring and sharing have taught me to find so much of satisfaction, happiness and compassion within me and to stay attached to the values that are connected to the common good”.
He has strictly adhered to the pledge he took at the time of his marriage in 1983 to share a certain percentage of his income and has extended a helping hand to individuals, institutions, organisations, the Government and to the society in general. His wife Jean Colaco has been fully supportive in all his philanthropic and charitable endeavours.
Colaco has been the recipient of a number of national and international awards in recognition of his charitable and philanthropic activities including the prestigious award from the office of The Prime Minister of Australia through CSIA which conferred the “2015 International Recognition Award for Leadership in Service Excellence” at the Australian Service Excellence award ceremony held in Melbourne in 2015, the only person chosen for this prestigious award internationally from among 80 countries.
Many firsts to his credit
Ronald Colaco has earned the distinction of being the first laity in the entire Country to carry out the following charitable activities.
I. Colaco had set a pioneering precedent when he constructed and donated a state of the art and first of its kind, fully equipped, modern Police Station of 8000 sq.ft. at Frazer Town, Bengaluru in 2004, a pioneering example that was emulated subsequently by other MNC’s and Corporates like Infosys, WIPRO, Jindal, etc., leading to the redevelopment of nearly 49 Police Stations in the Capital of Karnataka.This was first by a laity in the entire country to build a complete police station and donate the same to the State Capital. This initiative resulted in bringing about considerable behaviour change in the police personnel and improved work efficiency among the police force. This created a history in the country as a pioneering act.
II. In another first to his credit Ronald Colaco became the first Christian Catholic Laity in the entire country to construct and donate a Hindu temple of Lord Muneshwara at Bovipalya of Navaratna Agrahara of Bengaluru North Talukin the year 2000. He being a Christian, also has become the single largest donor for redevelopment of Cholas era Chennakeshava Temple at Chikkajala , Muthsalayamma temple at doddajala of Bengaluru north taluk, Suryanarayana temple of south India in Mangalore and his contributions cover over 32 temples including the one famous at Kateel as well as two mosques.
III. In 2012 Ronald Colaco created history when he built and donated a modern era church (Holy Rosary Church Venkatala) in Yelahanka, Bengaluru, having a seating capacity for about 1000 people. By doing so he became the first laity in India in modern times to fully build and donate a church with all furnishings. His contributions in considerable amounts cover over 44 churches.
IV. When Colaco built and donated the Advocate’s Bhavan in the judiciary complex of Devanahalli, Bengaluru, he etched his name as the first Indian laity in the entire country to contribute to the judiciary of the State Government as announced by the High Court Judges and Central Ministers attending the inaugural function.
V. When Colaco built and donated an international standard double road of 2.2 kms with four lanes from NH 7 via Navarathna Agrahara Village during 2011, he became the first Indian laity in the entire country in recent times to fully construct and donate a state of the art public road to the State Capital that was inaugurated by the then Chief Minister, Shri Sadananda Gowda.
VI. He has been instrumental in encouraging Eric Correa with a contribution of four million and the Mangalore diocese with one million for providing houses for the poor which were distributed equally among those chosen from Hindu, Muslim and Christian communities, in a new colony named as Adarsh Nagar in Moodbidri Taluk of Mangalore. In other words, there is no field that has not benefitted from his munificence and he has been consistently involved in charity work over a period of time.
VII. He is the brain behind the pioneering efforts in establishing the first ever LINK Counselling and De-addiction Centre in Mangalore in 1991 and then providing and donating a 60 bedded fully furnished hospital has saved so far more than 22,000 families addicted to variouschemical substance abuses.
VIII. Ronald Colaco has been very prompt in providing succour to people affected by various natural calamities by donating to various Relief funds of the Chief Minister.
IX. He started the International Federation of Karnataka Christian Associations (IFKCA) and opened up nearly 60 units at taluk and district levels, with the help of Denis D’Silva and others. By bringing all denominations together he has encouraged people to get into the electorate and contest elections at various levels and has helped empower the community to get due representation.
X. His charitable and philanthropic work is the result of the solemn decision he had taken at the beginning of his blissful married life wherein he had decided to donate a portion of his income and savings to the poor and the needy and for the betterment of the society in general. He has strictly adhered to that decision and since then has been very enthusiastically abiding by his promise, which has proved beneficial to individuals, various institutions and to the society as a whole.
XI. The development of state-of-the-art Townships called Hollywood Town, Swiss Town and Oval Reef near Bengaluru International Airport, apart from promoting a 5 star Hotel, Clarks Exotica Resort and Spa, is the result of his passion to create something worthwhile and he has worked diligently to make a mark, winning a number of national and international accolades and recognitions in the process.
His charitable and philanthropic activities cover a wide array of fields and human activity spread across Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and overseas countries under different categories and fields such as:
• Contributions to the state police department
• Contributions to the state PWD department – two roads
• Contributions to the state revenue department - building and donating modern taluk office and completely furnishing Mini Vidhana Soudha at Devanahalli
• Contributions to state judiciary - Advocate Bhavan, fully furnished
• Contributions to the state education departmentfor government schools - Building and donating fully furnished higher primary and high schools in rural areas
• Contributions to privately run charitable educational institutions has benefitted over 52 schools and colleges
• Contributions to state horticulture department – Modern Hopcom shop at Frazer Town, Bengaluru, setting a precedent for others to follow
• Contributions to the religious field - Temples, churches, mosques
• Contributions to medical field - Cancer block at Father Muller, Vision Centre at Mulky, Red Cross Hospital in Chikkamagaluru
• Contributions to LINK Counseling, De-addiction and Rehabilitation Centre for addicts of chemical substance abusers, besides prevention, apart from donating a fully furnished hospital with 60 beds
• Contributions to art and cultural field - Konkani Kalangann, Konkani World Centre, World Konkani Museum and many more.
• Contributions to public utility/community halls
• Contributions towards relief funds for natural calamities
• Contributions to provide homes to the poor and the needy
• Contributions to government run primary and high schools in rural areas by providing additional 22 teachers from his sidesince many years to impart quality education to the rural people at the grassroots foundation level.
• Contributions to promote self-employment opportunities - through MCC Bank
• Contributions to promote art and artistes
• Contributions to the cause of departed souls – donated hearse, cold storage unit for keeping dead bodies at Chikkmaggaluru, cemetery in Yelahanka and Mukkammar.