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Mangalore: Rachana awards conferred on five eminent achievers

Nov. 17, 2013

Rachana, a forum of Catholic Chamber of Commerce and Industry conferred its annual awards on five eminent personalities from different fields at a glittering ceremony held at Milagres Jubilee hall here on Sunday November 17. Oscar Fernandes, union cabinet minister for transport, road and highways presented the awards along with other dignitaries. The awardees were Rohan Monteiro of Rohan Corporation (Entreprenuer of the Year), former hockey player Jacqueline Colaco (Outstanding Woman of the Year), Prof Edmund Frank (Agriculturist of the Year), scientist Dr Stanislaus F D’souza (Professional of the Year) and Dubai-based industrialist Lawrence Mendonca (NRI Entrepreneur of the Year). Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza, bishop of Mangalore diocese presided over the function. Oscar's wife Blossom Fernandes, MLA J R Lobo, and Prof Dr M Shantaram Shetty, vice-chancellor, Nitte University were the guests of honour while Ivan D’Souza, president of Rachana, John Monteiro, secretary, and Ronald Gomes, convener shared the dais.

Conferring the awards, Oscar in his address said, "Rachana has organized a big event wherein it has identified great, eminent people who have served the society and honored them with awards."Lauding the forum for its great work since its inception, he wished that it would attain greater heights by conducting various programmes for the betterment of society. Showering praises on the award recipients, he said Jacqueline has not only overcome her own disability but has also supported other people suffering from disability. "Being an agriculturist, I was proud of Prof Edmund Frank who has adopted natural methods in farming," he said. "I was happy and touched when children of Rohan Monteiro smiled and rejoiced when their father was conferred the award. This shows that his family is a part of his success," he said, lauding Rohan for being a young achiever. He appreciated the good work done by NRI entrepreneur Lawrence Mendonca and scientist Dr Stanislaus.

MLA Lobo lauded the bishop for supporting Rachana and taking the community forward. "In Christian community, we have plenty of talents. Individually we are successful in our fields but we do not come together. Our thinking should focus on collective success," he said. He called upon Mangalorean NRIs to come together and start a business venture by thinking out of the box, thus providing employment opportunities to youth. He also asked the community to support them. Dr Shantharam Shetty said, "The city has giving me everything, more than what I have given to it. I am proud of the city which has given birth to three great national banks, more than 250 educational institutions and plenty of talents. We Mangaloreans are recognized as being different from others. "I am proud of the Catholic community as they have contributed more than other communities to Mangalore. Any bank heads we ask, they thank NRIs as they invest their money here. Mangalore is recognized as the 13th economically strong city in the country," he said.

Bishop Aloysius Paul D’Souza in his presidential address said, "I am proud of Rachana award winners who have made a difference in our community through their tremendous contribution. Rachana from a small seed since its inception has grown into a giant tree and is giving fruit by helping the community," he said, wishing them to do great things by helping budding entrepreneurs grow. "Our community should be useful to others as well. We have contributed many things to the society and we should not stop here, instead, more contribution has to be made," he added. Minister Oscar Fernandes was able to be part of the programme only for a short while as he had to get back to Delhi to fulfill some other commitments. Acknowledging the honour, Rohan Monteiro, MD of Rohan Corporation said, "From the past 20 years, I have been into real estate business considering it as my service to society. I never expected nor did I do anything for an award, and I take this award as a recognition for my work," he said.

"Several people come to me and ask how you made money and achieved great things, to which I reply only with a smile. If a person who works with full dedication and involves himself completely in his work, he can achieve wonders," he said, thanking his family and other people who have supported him in his journey. Lawrence Mendonca, the dynamic NRI entrepreneur based in Dubai said, "Entrepreneurship is born with innovative ideas and opportunities. I got an opportunity to be an entrepreneur at the age of 28 and after persistent hardwork, sacrificing time with family, I was able to achieve success."

These days we find many youngsters who aspire to be entrepreneurs but they lack the will to work hard. He asked them to discuss their plans with elders and experts before setting up their business and stressed that Mangalore needs more entrepreneurs. Jacqueline Colaco said, "Having lived in Bangalore, I did not know I was known in this area. I thank Rachana for honoring me." She requested Oscar to make easy access for disabled people in this country in various places. "Even though a bill was passed in 1995 which assured equal opportunities to disabled persons, nothing has been done so far in this regard. I wish that something is done soon. I will continue to offer my service to needy people." Prof Edmund Frank, an innovative agriculturist who converted a barren land into a farm using various innovative techniques expressed his gratitude and said, "Incidents take place in a person’s life in two ways, one by choice and another by set of circumstances. In my case, agriculture happened by choice."

"Twenty years back, I purchased a barren land and converted it into a farm. In my farm, I concentrate on integrated farming, water harvesting and growing crops with minimal water," he added. Another award recipient Dr Stanislaus F D’Souza, Mumbai who is a renowned scientist in Bhabha Atomic Research Institute said, "I have been receiving many national as well as international awards for my contribution in the field of science but this award is more special to me as I received it from my hometown. It will take a prominent place in my life." The award selection jury consisted of 15 members. They are Captain J B Menezes, Meena Aranha, Eulalia D’Souza, Marcel Monteiro, Felix Pinto, Felix Albuqurque, Roy Castelino, Walter D’Souza, C J Lobo, Dr Errol Pinto, Marjeline, Norman Mendonca, Gilbert D’Souza, Fr Francis Xavier Gomes and Dr Derek Lobo.


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