Mumbai: `Communicate in Konkani at Home' - Fr Nelson Saldanha

News & Pics by Ancy Paladka
Daijiworld Media Network - Mumbai(SP)

Mumbai, Sep 29: "Konkani people need to go for higher education," advised the honorary president of Canara Konkani Association Borivli. He was speaking at the annual general body meeting of the Association held here on Sunday September 28.

"We Catholics have lots of primary schools, but as far as higher educaiton is considered, the number of institutions is very few. After putting in lots of efforts, a handful of professional, engineering and management institutions have been built with the Christian minority status," he continued.

"I too have set up an engineering and pharmacy college, through my family trust. Our youngsters need to make use of these facilities. Earlier, people in Mumbai used to call us pavwalas because we used to supply breads in Mumbai. Some used to call us with silly names, because we had only primary education. But now, we should aim at changing our image thoroughly, by going in for professional courses. We should also contribute for the development of our community as well as our nation as a whole," he asserted.


Cheif Guest Fr Nelson Saldanha expressed the need for the Catholics to speak Konkani in their homes. He insisted, that it was necessary for people to speak in Hindi, Marathi etc., also in their homes. "We should speak our mother tongue Konkani. It is a myth, that the children will learn English better if we speak that language at home. Even if we do not speak English at homes, they will learn the language well in schools. Morever, they will excel in that language, by perfecting their grammer and usage of English. There is an imperative need  for us to teach them Konkani at home. We need to say our prayers in Konkani at home. In this way, we can contribute to preserve our mother tongue," he said. He also expressed his displeasure about the fact that many people choose to reply in English, even when he speaks to them in Konkani. "We must reverse this trend," he urged.

President George D'Souza gave a call to increase the membership of the association to 1000 at the earliest. "This will give us proper representaion to reap various benefits," he said. He also informed, that a Konkani Drama "Zana Soglo Ganv," will be staged in Borivli in October this year, for pooling funds needed for the scholorships to be distributed to the needy Konkani children in Borivli.

Sercretary Charles D'Cunha read out the report of the Association. Treasurer Robert Tauro presented the accounts. George Nazreth requested the association members to actively participate in the peace March being organised on Thursday october 2, for protest against the attacks on Christians in various parts of India. People also stood and spent time in prayers for few minutes, to show solidarity for the affected Christians.

In the beginning, Franky D'Souza welcomed the gathering. Leo Coutinho led the prayers. Dr Savita D'Souza was honoured for the distinction of securing PhD degree. Appreciation of the community members for the efforts put in by Albert W D'Souza towards setting up of institutions of higher education, was placed on record by Savita D'Souza. George Nazareth proposed Vote of thanks. Franky D'Souza compered the programme.


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Comment on this article

  • Guru Baliga, Bantwal/NewDelhi

    Thu, Oct 02 2008

    If Konkani is living in books today its because of Catholics who developed a habit of writing letters in Konkani.

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  • George, Dubai

    Wed, Oct 01 2008

    Fr. Nelson is right and we should really think about it, as we all talk in english the whole day and our children even dont talk konkani with our parents who dont talk proper english or understand it properly, May God bless all of them to speak at home in their own mother tongue always.

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  • Henry W Castelino, Shankarapura-Pangla

    Tue, Sep 30 2008

    100% I support Fr. Nelson, for his advise and there is no dobut in my mind that we Catholics should try and teach our children the basics of our Mother tongue. Many times you will notice that when a child is asked what is your Mother Tongue and we proudly answer Konkani but, how many of us do speak at home very few.

    So let's teach our children our mother tongue which has more respect in terms of pointing out our relatives where as in English any one is called Uncle and Aunty as whole sale not knowing how they are related. But, our language makes it very specific with regards to how each one is related to you. In short I strongly request to all Catholics not feel ashame to teach your children your mother tongue "Konkani.

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    Mon, Sep 29 2008

    Fr.Nelson thanks for your advise, I will definitely keep in mind. We miss you in oman when you left oman in 1991 and opted for preisthood.God Bless you.

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