As part of the 60th-anniversary festivities of Goa’s liberation, the Dalgado Konknni Akademi (DKA) organised a special function at the Ravindra Bhavan conference hall to honour 25 Konkani writers who have sincerely served the mother tongue of Konkani.
Chief guest for the function was former chief minister of Goa, ex-MP, South Goa and MLA of Benaulim constituency, Churchill Alemao. Also present were members of the writers’ fraternity, priests, nuns, Konkani lovers and well-wishers of DKA.
Addressing the gathering, Alemao applauded the DKA for their efforts in the field of Konkani literature. Remembering the language agitation, he recollected the series of events that occurred during this time. He also remembered his role as a South Goa MP and the manner in which he spoke in Konkani in the Parliament with prior permission from the Speaker. This action later resulted in the appointment of a Konkani interpreter in the Parliament.
He further said: “I congratulate Tomazinho Bab Cardozo who took the initiative to establish the DKA and has till date worked for the development of the Konkani language. I have appealed to the CM of Goa to further increase the Government grants to DKA from the present 30 lakhs to 50 lakhs. He has assured me that he will look into the matter and do the needful.”
President of the DKA, Vincy Quadros, in his address, briefed the gathering on the steps taken by the DKA to bring about awareness for the use of spoken and written Konkani in Goan villages. “We wish to visit the villages in Goa and bring about awareness about the Konkani language and we need a little support from you to take the lead for us to organise such an activity. We have now commenced such a programme in the schools and colleges in Goa and we are getting ready with books in Roman script for teaching Konkani at the primary level in schools,” he said, adding that books I and II for the KG section are ready.
He further congratulated and appreciated the work of Konkani writer, Ives Tavares for writing the book ‘Povitr Pustokantlem Bhanddar’, a volume that has been featured in the Asia Book of Records. Since the DKA is facing financial constraints to implement all its schemes for the development of Konkani in Roman script, he appealed to the chief guest to intervene and to request the government to enhance their grants. Similarly, he said DKA is also facing a space crunch to store its publications and other materials, and requested the government that they may be provided with additional space for their use.