By Alok S, Team Mangalorean
Mangalore: The Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy-sponsored 'Konkani Sahitya Rath' arrived at its scheduled destination at the Canara Girls' Higher Primary School in Dongerkery here on Friday 22 June.
Academy registrar Dr Devdas Pai welcomed the gathering. Academy president Kasaragod Chinna introduced the 'Konkani Sahitya Rath' campaign to the gathering.
Konkani Sahitya Rath convener Roy Castelino in his speech credited the state government for having approved to have a third language 'Konkani' among fourteen others like Tulu, Kodava, French and German. "The result of the efforts put in by the academy are seen in the results of the sixty students who had taken up Konkani in their Class X examinations", he said.
Community leader Shrikar Prabhu in his message lauded the academy for having utilized the money sanctioned by the government to buy books and making them reach suitable places. He drew a parallel between the Konkani books taken in the Sahitya Rath and a deity being taken in a rath. Expressing regret to the realities of state of the Konkani language today, he said that if no collective efforts were made to save it then the Konkani culture would die out. He invited the gathering to keep up the Indian culture and not to absorb the western culture. He made a humble request to save and preserve Konkani culture.
Sri Krishna Dairy's MD Pradeep Pai said that the state government had sanctioned Rs 5 crore to the Academy of which Rs 1.5 crore was already released. He said that a part the money would be utilized to give scholarships to the Konkani students under various schemes. He expressed hope in the support from the government in the same way in future.
Canara Girls High Pry School correspondent Vaman Kamath said, "We should love our mother tongue. It is regrettable that we have been losing its touch. Many Konkanis who have gone abroad for greener pastures and settled have lost the taste of Konkani and are not teaching it to their children. The Konkani language in India has different dialects because it is influenced by the local spoken languages, depending on the respective places"
Chinna in his presidential address said that there were 42 communities speaking the Konkani language, and the dialects had very little differences. He called more students to take up Konkani as a subject in schools and colleges. He suggested the Konkani schools to display a Konkani word daily with its meaning in other known languages so that children would learn a new word in Konkani everyday. He also announced that the 60 students would be felicitated at a programme in the town hall on Saturday, June 23 .
Co-convener Mahesh R Nayak delivered a vote of thanks. Canara School headmaster Umesh Mallya, Canara Girls' High School headmistress Leelavathi, Ashok Shet, Rajaram Nayak and Vitori Karkal were also present on the occasion.