Mangalore, May 2: "I never thought giving a small place for the office would fetch me this amount of regard and love," said Roy Castelino, president, Konkani Prachar Sanchalan here.
He was speaking after inaugurating the office of Konkani Writers' Forum, a registered body for the past 16 years, at Pandeshwar here.
He further said, "I have great respect for writers' fraternity as they create awareness in society with their writings. They can do more than what I can by giving speeches as a Konkani activist. Hence I request all Konkani writers to spread awareness about Konkani education in schools and educate public about its benefits."
Earlier Fr Stany Goveas, parish priest, Rosario Cathedral blessed the office. In his message he said, "Ups and downs are part of any association and even the church is not an exception. But, having an office of one's own is a must especially to an association and even Jesus spoke about a place for himself in the Bible."
H M Pernal, general secretary of the Forum gave a brief account of the activities of the Forum over the past two years and explained how the they were not able to conduct programmes as planned, as the registration of the forum was not active and they had to put their major time and energy after reviving the registration. He also said the need for an office was felt as many records were lost, including original registration certificate while moving records from one office-bearer to another in the past years. Moreover, having an address for contact as well as for government records was essential.
He thanked Roy Castelino for giving an office space and Vally Vagga, Titus Noronha for their guidance in the process of reviving the registration.
Veteran Konkani Writer and past office bearer of the Forum Edwin J F D'Souza was felicitated on this occasion for the BAPASI award that was recently conferred on him for his contribution to Konkani Literature.
Felicitating Edwin, founder president of the Forum Vally Vagga said, "I am senior by a day to Edwin as my short story was published a day prior to Edwinís. Edwinís contribution to Konkani literature is tremendous and beyond comparision."
In reply Edwin said, "It is Konkani that is honoured today and not Edwin, as the book for which this award has been bestowed is Konkani stories in English. This is the fist time BAPASI is giving an award to a minority language. I feel proud to be a Konkani Writer in English."
In his presidential address Paul Moras, president of the Forum said, "Without active registration and an office there is no identity to an association. Today we got an identity. This is a milestone in the 16-year history of the forum and the name of Roy Castelino will remain in the history of the association."
He launched a membership drive by releasing a newly-designed membership form and five new members were symbolically welcomed with roses.
Ron Roche Cassia, convenor of the programme was present on the dais. Joachim Pinto, treasurer of the Forum thanked the gathering.
After the programme, Paul Moras, president of Konkani Writers' Forum was felicitated on his 60th birthday. Gilbert D'Souza, chairman of Souza Group raised the toast. Juliet Moras, wife of Paul Moras and their son Prem Jackson were present.
Vitori Karkal, vice-president of the forum compered the programme.
Address of New Office
Konkani Writers Forumģ
Shop No 4 , Fatima Gardens,
B R Karkera Road
Pandeshwar, Mangalore Ė 575 001.
Land Mark : Fire Brigade and BSNL Office / Old Kent Road.