Go Women! 10 Outstanding Women Conferred with Canara Catholic Sabha Shtree Sadhana Awards
Go Women! 10 Outstanding Women including Violet Pereira, Proprietor of Mangalorean.com Conferred with Canara Catholic Shtree Sabha Awards at the “Mega Convention of Canara Catholic Women” organized by Catholic Sabha, Mangaluru Pradesh ®, in collaboration with the Catholic Sabha of Udupi diocese and the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women, diocese of Mangaluru, at St Agnes Special School Ground-Mangaluru on Sunday, 4 March 2018.
Mangaluru: Talk about the present strength and Women Empowerment- and it came to light at the Mega Convention of Canara Catholic Women” where a Mammoth, Large, Humongous, Massive, Mega -whatever words you want to use it- over 5000 Catholic Women converged at the St Agnes Special School ground, and showed the rest of us, that Women too are united and want to be recognized in the society. With WOMEN’S DAY (8th March) round the corner, this Convention and Awards Celebration was a perfect occasion to mark “Women’s Day”, few days in advance.
In order to bring about real EMPOWERMENT of women the first step would be that we stop differentiating between the male and the female. I personally think and am sure 99.9% of all of you assembled at today’s convention, and all those who will be reading this report would agree with me when I say “A man and a woman are made by God to compliment each other neither is in any way inferior to the other.They have different roles to play and should be respected for that. Just as every Human being should be respected irrespective of caste, creed, colour, occupation or gender. A mother, a sister, a wife, a daughter and a friend are as important and necessary for the functioning and propagation of the human race as is a father, a brother, a husband, a son and a friend —society cannot function without any one of these.
Women are as useful and important to society as men —Not more nor less. They are both required to play certain roles which cannot be replaced by either. There is no substitute for a mother, wife, sister or friend as is there no substitute for a Father, husband, brother or friend. It is sad that vested interests and sick mentalities all over the world have discriminated and shown women as the weaker sex whereas if realities have to be seen women are much stronger —they have to fight society from within and without —they have the capacity to procreate –to give birth –they endure difficulties both physical and emotional and almost always come out victorious. We have to stop the jeering and leering attitude that men have towards women –irrespective of their status, or age. And for that matter, Catholic Sabha with their associates have done the right thing by organizing this Mega Catholic Women Convention, and also by honouring 10 outstanding Catholic Women in different fields. Indeed a marvellous job done by the organizers recognizing the efforts and hard work of the present women.
Catholic Sabha Mangalore Pradesh (R ) an organization with a strong presence on coastal Karnataka for the past 39 years organized this mega convention of Canara Catholic Women to unite the women of the community and deliberate on the subject of their empowerment and bringing them to the mainstream to play a positive role in the society. The organizers never expected that it would be a such a large turnout, of over 5000 women- creating a record in the history of Mangaluru, having organized this women convention for the First time. This Pivotal Association of the Catholic Lay faithful of the diocese of Mangalore, Catholic Sabha, Mangaluru Pradesh ®, established in the year 1979 organized this convention in collaboration with the Catholic Sabha of Udupi diocese and the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women, diocese of Mangaluru- and was held to coincide with the International Women’s Day (8 March). The objective of the Convention was “Effective Leadership of Canara Catholic Women for a Progressive Society”.
Prior to mega formal function held at St Agnes Special School Ground, a stage programme and a rally was held to bring awareness about green environment, and NOT to use PLASTIC- which was enacted through a stage play by youth of “Kalakul” of Mandd Sobhann-Mangaluru, a play written and directed by Arun Raj Rodrigues. This ‘Clean Environment Rally’ was based on the ‘Laudate Si’ call of Pope Francis. The rally was flagged off by Fr William Menezes-PRO, Mangaluru Diocese along with local, corporator Sabitha Misquith, Catholic Sabha President Anil Lobo, among others. Thousands of cloth bags were distributed to the shop owners and customers at the Kadri market, and also to the rally participants. The rally started from Kadri market-Mallikatta and culminated at the St Agnes Special School ground, joined in by thousands of women and men, accompanied by brass band and Chenda Melam group.
Reaching the ground everyone was treated to a sumptuous breakfast, following which the formal function began with a prayer song by Konkani Singer Melwin Peris and group, invoking God’s blessings. In his welcome address president of Catholic Sabha-Mangaluru, Anil Lobo said, “I am overwhelmed to see such a large gathering of women, and this shows that women are ready to unite and fight for their rights and justice. This unique convention was planned with an intention to unite the women of the community and deliberate on the subject of their empowerment and bringing them to the mainstream to play a positive role in the society. This is your Day, and make the best use of it- and show the community that women too have the talents, capacities and strength like men”.
The programme was inaugurated in a unique way by unveiling the veil from the head covered on a lady mannequin placed on the stage- and Rev Sr M. Lillis, Vice Provincial General, Bethany Sisters did the honors, along with other dignitaries on the dais namely- Renowned social activist and the former chairperson of the Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Board Smt. Veronica Cornelio (who also delivered the keynote address); J R Lobo, (Member Legislative Assembly, Karnataka), Ivan D’souza (Chief Whip, Legislative Council, Karnataka), Fr J B Crasta, Dean of the Episcopal Deanery, Adv M P Noronha, Secretary Mangalore Diocesan Pastoral Council, Mishall Queeny D’costa, IRS; among the board members of Catholic Sabha and other VIP’s. Following the inauguration, Melwin Peris and choir rendered a song particularly composed by him for Women’s Day, named “Shtreeache Karbar” (Women’s Power/Act). ‘Striyarigagi Sarakara’ (Government for Women), a handbook compiled by Stephen Quadros Permude was also released during the convention.
Rev Sr M. Lillis addressing the audience said, “It’s nice to see such a large gathering of women which shows the unity and understanding between present women. Mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, leaders, entrepreneurs and angels … We’re all at least one, and some of us are all of these and more. The fact is we are all women, and I believe we need to support each other, share our stories, and find strength in numbers. We need to stand up and make others know that we are not alone in this journey, to share our stories our learnings and create a community in our sisterhood.”
In her keynote address, Smt. Veronica Cornelio said, ” Even though we have quite a few Catholic Women in the state, we need to increase our strength. With unity, we can do it and as women, we can all play a vital role. Our Catholic Women are not only serving locally in various capacities, but also abroad-which is a plus point, and we should be proud of it. Karavali Catholic Women should shine and reach greater heights locally, nationally and internationally. We should not look up to the male to give us empowerment we have to achieve it, snatch it or earn it. We should make ourselves important enough to contribute positively and gainfully to the development of society. Make ourselves indispensable in every field and PLEASE let us try to forgo the PERKS which make us appear dependents.”
“Real empowerment as we need it today can be brought about only if we educate ourselves and our children, to respect WOMEN and not by passing a legislation. Here again, it’s we women who have to play a significant role because THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE rules the world .let us teach our children to respect women. .Because this evil is so deep-rooted that it can be weeded out only if we attack it at the roots. There have been women, achievers who have fought against all odds and emerged victorious the examples of Indira Gandhi, Indra Niyogi, Bachendri Pal are there for us to see. Today’s programme will bring in a change in women soon, and let us work together to shine and bring a name to us globally” added Ms Cornelio.
Then came the moment everyone was waiting for, especially the awardees anxiously waiting to hold the memento and citation in their hands. The List of Awardees that were conferred with the Canara Catholic Shtree Sabha Awards were: Professional: Smt. Violet Pereira, Bendur; Agriculture: Smt. Pauline Flossy Pinto, Taccode; Differently Abled: Smt. Jessline Elizabeth Mary Lewis, Mount Rosary Kallianpur; Education: Kum. Juliana Lobo, Derebail; Government Service: Smt. Linet Castelino, Nithyadarnagar; Health: Smt. Mary Vaz, Derebail; Literature and Fine Arts: Smt. Merlyn Rasquinha, Angelore; Entrepreneurship: Smt. Eulalia D’souza, Bejai; Social Service: Smt. Remedia D’Souza, Belman; and in Sports: Kum. Joyline Murial Lobo, Shirtady”. Kum. Juliana Lobo, Derebail after receiving the award expressed her gratitude and words of wisdom on behalf of all the ten awardees.
MLA J R Lobo delivering his speech on the lighter side of vein said, “While entering this venue I was so nervous with all the thousands of women staring at me- I was kind of scared-never thought that this convention would get such a huge response. A job well done by the organizers. It’s nice to see that women are fairing better than men. But please don’t go a little above-let us men also survive and have certain positions in the society- and also in the church activities, because these days women are in the fore in Church events. But anyways, you are all doing a great job-keep up the good and may God bless you”.
Bishop Aloysius Paul D’souza addressing the gathering said, “My sincere compliments to the Catholic Sabha for organizing such a unique and powerful Women convention-it is indeed a success-no doubt about it. Our love towards women should start from home- showing love to our mother, grandmother, and sister. St Sebastian spoke about how we should show our love- so we need to follow in his footsteps by expressing our love to others, especially women.Love is important, even Pope Francis speaks about love.Here we have shown our love to these 10 awardees by recognizing their hard work and achievements. In Bible Jesus tells,’Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’.So Catholic Sabha has done the right thing in organizing this mega convention for women and also honouring ten achievers. May God bless you all”.
The 10 women achievers in 10 different fields who were conferred with the ‘Catholic Sabha Sthree Sadhan Award 2018’, received a citation, a plaque, a shawl and cash prize of Rs 10000/-. The programme ended with a sumptuous lunch served to over 5000 people.