Distribution of Student Scholarship Marks Decennial Celebrations of Vishwa Konkani Kendra
Mangaluru: To mark the decennial celebrations of World Konkani Centre, a Vishwa Konkani Student Scholarship distribution programme was held at T V Ramana Pai Convention Hall here on August 25.
The programme began with an invocation. President of World Konkani Centre Basti Vaman Shenoy welcomed the gathering. Secretary of VKSSF Pradeep G Pai delivered the keynote address. The programme was inaugurated by the trustee of Manipal Academy of Higher Education Vasanthi Ramadas Pai by lighting the traditional lamp along with other dignitaries on the dais. The first cheque of the year was given to Raksha Shenoy.
Addressing the gathering Vasnthi R Pai said, “I would like to congratulate Basti Vaman Shenoy for doing his best is giving education to the community youth. I am very happy to see his enthusiasm for helping the community students through education. Those who have more money they do not have a big heart and those who have a big heart they don’t have more money. But VKSSF is giving scholarship to the community students. You all should to do well in school and be the role models for those who are trying to get the financial help. Parents should understand the interest of their children and encourage them accordingly. Parents should not force their children to study what they think is best for them instead they should understand their child’s interest and guide properly. In GSB the parents give their daughters in marriage at a young age, but my advice is to give them education because education is power which will make them stand on their own feet. If you educate a woman the entire family will be educated.”
Addressing the gathering T V Mohandas Pai said, “We the GSB Community are a minority in the country and don’t have political power. We are a small community, there is a fear whether our community will exist in another 10 to 50 years because most of the GSB youth don’t speak their mother tongue. They marry those from other caste and speak only English since both cannot speak their mother tongue with each other. Some of them hesitate to speak their mother tongue and if this trend continues it will be very difficult to retain our mother tongue. In the next 20 to 30 years our youth will forget our culture and tradition. We need English globally but our identity should not be forgotten. Our youth should be connected with the community.”
Mohandas further said, “We give scholarships to our youth along with training because we want our youth to be globally recognized. Pradeep Pai is the founder of VKSSF, he and Ramdas Pai have a big heart. I am also from the GSB but I was not having a connection with my community. I do not have an emotional connection with my community because there was no occasion to meet my community. To build the connection between the community and strengthen it, we need to create a global community and by 2030 we should be a powerful community in the world. Our community is small but we have the power of ideas and intellectual power.”
Mohandas also said, “The Vishwa Konkani Student Scholarship fund envisages grant of merit cum means scholarship for students having Konkani language as their mother tongue. Ten years ago we instituted this scholarship and successfully raised and distributed over 22,000 scholarships to the tune of Rs 21.40 crores. Last year we formed the Alumni association and the members have raised Rs 35.38 lakh and handed over the cheque to Vishwa Konkani Student Scholarship Fund. The members of AA should take leadership and continue to support the community youth to pursue their education. Kshamatha is a good programme under which students will be trained for personal growth, leadership and development for a greater appreciation for the Konkani society in particular and global society in general. Kshamatha is the only academy which has trained the students for more than 34858 days of training in various formats. In 10 years we have done very good work, and by 2030 more than 5000 youth will do Masters and PhD going globally creating name and fame. We need to train futuristic skills to our youth. They must be citizen’s of the world, they will do well and will remain as Konkani. In 10 years all the alumni should come forward and take leadership. We the seniors will be with you to make our community secure.”
Addressing the gathering MLA Vedavyas Kamath said, “I would like to congratulate Mohandas Pai, Dr Ranjan Pai, Dr Pradeep Pai and Basti Vaman Shenoy for their initiative in starting this scholarship 10 years ago to bring the community youth to the mainstream. In 10 years they have distributed scholarship worth Rs 25 crore to 22,230 students. Youth who have received financial help from VKSSF have their responsibility. When you complete your education and get a job you need to think of your community students.”
Vedavyas further said, “In our government, there are academies and boards to distribute schemes but Mohandas Pai and Ramdas Kamath are doing much more than that to the community. Being an MLA whatever help you need, I will try my best to get it from the government. There will be ups and downs but we should not give up. If we set our goal and work hard we can achieve it. Mohandas and Ramadas from our community have achieved a lot. Now they are helping the community by distributing scholarship for the youth. We are a minority, the government is not in favour of us, they see the strength of the community. We have our government in the state and centre. I will try my best talking to the minority commission to provide benefits to the GSB community”.
President of Alumni Association Nirosh handed over a cheque of Rs 35,38,612 to Basti Vaman Shenoy in favour of VKSSF. The scholarship was distributed to the students by the guests.
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