The inauguration of Shri T. V. Raman Pai and Smt. T. Vimala V. Pai Hostel on November 11 at 11.11.11 am was much awaited event in the history of the World Konkani Centre. While the date gained significance because of the fact that it comes only once in a century, it also got etched out in the history of Konkani language and culture, because of the fact the hostel project, envisaged a year back, and executed within a span of seven months, was dedicated to the cause of Konkani-speaking community. The hostel was donated entirely on a turnkey basis by Shri T. V. Mohandas Pai, Chief Patron, the World Konkani Centre was inaugurated by Smt. Vimala V. Pai. Shri R. V. Deshpande, Chairman Emeritus, Konkani Language and Cultural Foundation(KLCF) lit the lamp. In his address Shri Pai emphasized the need to protect Konkani language as it was facing the threat of extinction. There was a time when mothers used to narrate bedtime stories to their children. But now the practice is gone as now big families have disintegrated and this practice is not followed in the nuclear families. Further globalization also has affected it.
“Documenting, recording and giving rise to a sense of pride among Konkani-speaking people are some of the factors that can contribute to the survival of the language.” Shri Pai said. “No matter which corner of the world Konkanis live they should retain their identity as Konkani-speaking community. The Konkanis should become technologically advanced, make best use of digitization, internet, teaching of mythology and history to youngsters through the medium of comics to safeguard their identity,” he added. Shri R. V. Deshpande described the event as Diamond letter day. He also stated that Konkani is a secular language. Shri N. Yogish Bhat, Deputy Speaker, Legislative Assembly, in his address, recalled that a thought that sparked off between a motley gathering during the Konkani Sammelan a few years ago in Los Angeles had given rise to the growth of the World Konkani Centre. Dr. P. Dayanand Pai, Chairman, KLCF, said the of the hundred per cent 99 per cent people read history and remaining one per cent create it and Mohandas Pai’s family was part of that one per cent. He also called upon the Konkani people to make best use of the facilities offered by the Kendra. Shri Pradeep G. Pai, Secreatary, Vishwa Konkani Student Scholarship (VKSSF), gave the details of the scholarships distributed. He also informed the gathering about the decision to award a scholarship of Rs 1 Lac to ten students who were taking up their higher studies in foreign countries. Shri Giridhar Kamath, Co-Ordinator, KSHAMATA, explained the various actvities planned under KSHAMATA Shri Basti Vaman Shenoy, President, World Konkani Centre, welcomed the gathering. The occasion was marked by the singing of ‘Konkani Abhiman Geet’ by a troupe trained by Shri Raghavendra Rao, Assistant Headmaster, Canara High School. A song by Shri B. V. Baliga on Konkani language was also presented thereafter by a troupe under the direction of Vasanthi R. Nayak. Smt. Vimala V. Pai was felicitated during the occasion. The first batch of 36 undergraduate students from Kerala is being provided with training at the hostel from the inaugural day itself. Shri T. V. Ramachandra Pai, philanthropist, Shri Gilbert D’Souza, Puttur, Shri Ramdas Kamath U., President, VKSSF were present. The programme was compered by Shri Venkatesh N. Baliga, Secretary of Vishwa Konkani Kendra. About the Hostel Block The hostel block, construction and facility of which are on par with international standards, can accommodate 52 inmates, with 13 double rooms and four dormitories which can house eight inmates each.
Various activities including seminars, camps etc. are proposed to be organized in the hostel building to impart education on leadership skills, knowledge about cultural heritage and history of Konkani language, and mentoring of the youngsters. It was clarified that the hostel will be used specifically for research programmes and training the youngsters, and not for accommodating guests coming to the city for other functions.