By Rons Bantwal
Daijiworld Media Network—Mumbai (RD/CN)
Mumbai, Sep 7: ‘World Konkani Day 2010’ was commemorated by Goan Review Art Foundation (GRAF) in a function held at Antonio D’Souza High School, Byculla, recently.
Sheela Kolambkar, renowned Konkani litterateur and winner of the Sahitya Academy Award, speaking as chief guest on the occasion, highlighted the development of the Konkani language and said that the five scripts of Konkani should unite Konkans just as the five fingers of a fist come together and work towards the progress of the language.
She also stressed the relentless work of Fr H O Mascarenhas in raising the standard of the language and complimented Shetgaonkar, the young director of Konkani film ‘Poltoddcho Monis’, for taking Konkani to greater heights internationally.
Konkani activist and entrepreneur Lawrence D’Souza and Felix Dias, president, Federation of All Goan Clubs, were the guests of honour.
Gerson Da Cunha of AGNI, and Fr Francis Ramesh, patron, ‘Mandd Sobhann’, were also present.
Fausto V Da Costa, president, GRAF, in his introductory address, said that although its 18 years since Konkani was included in the eighth schedule of the Indian constitution, the progress of Konkani has been very slow.
“We tend to use the language commercially rather than make use of it in our day to day lives. In spite of this, Konkani has been able to reach this level of success only because of the contribution of a few dedicated persons whereas the general public is hardly bothered about it”, he lamented.
Fausto also advised the gathering that instead of getting rid of the clubs—the unique heritage of ancestors—by selling them efforts should be made to explore ways of saving them for the next generation.
A minute’s silence was observed in honour of late Ravindra Kelekar, the doyen of Konkani literature, and other departed souls.
Konkani writer and Tiatrist Peter Vaz De Chandor and social worker Jeetendra Lotliker were felicitated during the function for their service to society and Konkani language. Roque Gonosalves, ‘Goan Review’s Man of the Year 2009-10’, was also honoured with the Goan Review Rolling Trophy and a purse by the chief guest.
Konkani Tiatr ‘Vantte’, written by Rio Rosa, was the highlight of the day in the cultural programme that followed. The ‘Mando’ was nostalgic of Goa and so were the Portuguese dances by the children and the Mando by the adults. Hymn to their patron St Francis Xavier concluded the cultural programme.
Despite the pouring rain, the audience was totally caught up with the event and kept asking for encores. The young and the old joined in the dancing enthusiastically.
The crowd then enjoyed the mouth watering Goan cuisine comprising of Xacuti, Sorpatel, and Pulao.