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Prominent Personality Profiles

This section celebrates the achievements of the eminent men & women of our community who have made a mark in their careers, business or vocation.

We will periodically carry profiles of some of these achievers & hope that their stories will inspire the young people in our community.

Viren Rasquinha

posted Sep 26, 2018, 3:34 AM by IT Administrator   [ updated Sep 26, 2018, 5:18 AM ]

Sportsman, Former Captain of the Indian Hockey Team

Profile by Dr. Jeanette Pinto 

Viren Wilfred Rasquinha is the hot new age Indian Sportsman.  Surely, you would have heard of him, he is a Star of India's National Field Hockey Team.  Born on September 13, 1980, to his parents Eric and Merlyn Rasquinha, he grew up in an atmosphere of joy, love, and discipline.  His parents had a huge role to play in inculcating some good habits.  They taught him the importance of physical fitness and studies, planning, eating healthy home cooked food, waking up early, etc,.  Surely, they believed "a healthy mind in a healthy body".

Viren completed his school education in the prestigious Jesuit Institution of St. Stanislaus in Bandra.

After trying out a few other sports, he was convinced he had the magic of wielding the hockey stick.  He was on the school team, and winning soon became a habit.  He was lucky to have trained under some of the finest coaches like Olympian Marcellus Gomes, and Clarence Lobo of Tata Sports Club and former Indian Coach.  The bond and relationship any player builds with his coaches is really very important.  Hard work, discipline, and team spirit are what he picked up from his coaches.

Viren wears a colourful feathered cap.  He is a rank holder in his 10th Boards; was part of the Gold Winning Indian Juniors; and a former Captain of the Indian Hockey Team.  He donned the Indian Jersey for 180 international matches, a credit indeed.  He was a first class student right through his college, an Alumnus of the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad, a CEO at Olympic Gold Quest, and of course, an Arjuna Awardee.  One wonders how he could achieve so much in such a short span of time.

Viren was part of the Indian Team that won the Hockey Junior World Cup in 2001 in Hobart, Australia.  He made his international senior debut as a midfielder in May 2002, at a Four Nation Tournament in Adelaide.  He was also Captain of Premier Hockey League Team 'Maratha Warriors'.  Viren enjoyed the highs of success, bounced back from injuries, suffered the whims of the Indian Hockey Federation, and moved on.  He announced his retirement from hockey on January 15, 2008, to pursue Management Studies at ISB, Hyderabad.

He said, "Retirement is a very personal thing.  For me, it was difficult, but I always wanted to retire at the peak of my game.  People ask me till today, why I retired early and remember me fondly, with respect.  That is all I can ask for".

What are Viren's thoughts of the future of hockey?  He feels that the domestic level hockey standards are poor.  There is an urgent need to upgrade the quality of coaches, who can teach the correct techniques.  Infrastructure, fitness, and diet are areas that need improvement.  A lot of thought and action needs to be taken by the Hockey Federation.  There has been progress over the last few years, but it needs to speed up.

His major international accolades include a Silver Medal at the Busan Asian Games 2002, Gold Medal Asia Cup 2003 at Kuala Lumpur, and Gold Medal at the 1st Afro Asian Games 2003.  He was conferred the 2005 Arjuna Award, for Hockey by the Government of India, and the Shiv Chatrapati Award in 2004 by the Government of Maharashtra.

Currently, Viren is the CEO of Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ), a not for profit Foundation, started by sports legend Geet Sethi,  Prakash Padukone and Viswanathan Anand, with a mission to help Indian athletes win Olympic Gold Medals.  In the last two Olympics at London 2012 and Rio 2016; 5 of the 8 medal winners for India were athletes supported by OGQ viz. Gagan Narang, Vijay Kumar, Saina Nehwal, M C Marykom, and P V Sindhu.  In fact, OGQ started supporting Sindhu when she was only 14 years old.

Amchi Khobor is happy to feature the first of our Mangalorean Sportsmen.  It shows that we are an all-round people, proud to share our joy in the achievements of our entire ilk.  Indeed, Viren is an inspiration especially to our youth; he has proved how one can combine academics and outdoor activities  as well  as be a successful person in life.  He has done the Mangalorean community proud.  

Cheers to Viren!   

John D'Silva

posted Aug 27, 2018, 2:52 AM by IT Administrator   [ updated Sep 7, 2018, 10:57 PM ]

Doyen of Co-operative Banking

Profile by Dr. Jeanette Pinto 

John Henry D'Silva, Doyen of Co-operative Banking was born on May 16, 1936; the fifth of six children of Anthony and Remedia D'Silva.  He hailed from an agricultural family of Sanoor, Karkala, South Kanara.  He had his primary education at St. Joseph of Sanoor till Standard IV, thereafter, he went to SVT Higher Elementary School at Karkala, walking ten kilometers daily, and completed Standard VIII. He moved to Mumbai in 1951.

A keen and diligent student, he completed his secondary education from Karnataka Free Night High School.  He did his B.A. from Jai Hind College (Morning Classes), and B.Com from R A Podar College (Evening Classes).  Thereafter, he Joined New Law College for LLB.  After graduation, he shifted to Abhyudaya Nagar, a Housing Board Colony, with over 4,000 flats / families.  Amazingly, it provided the starting block for his career. 

Blessed with a compassionate heart, John began to touch the lives of the marginalized.  People esteemed him as a man of honesty, sincerity, and action.  They elected him President of the Abhyudaya Nagar LIG Tenants Association in 1960.  Seeing the need for an English Medium School in the area, he started the Abhyudaya Education Society High School.

John soon realized that there was no bank in the area around Abhyudaya Nagar where over six thousand families lived.  He wrote to some leading Commercial Banks requesting them to open a Branch.  None showed any interest.  In the absence of banking facilities, the common man would keep his savings with local shopkeepers, and take it back when in need.  This urged John to start a Co-operative Bank to provide thrift and credit.  The capital required for starting a Credit Society was Rs. 5,000 and for a Bank, Rs. 50,000.

In December 1963, he collected Rs. 5,000 from 87 people, and on January 16, 1964 registered the Abhyudaya Co-operative Credit Society Limited.  The Housing Board allotted office premises to the Society.  As soon as the Capital amount touched Rs. 50,000, John got it converted into Abhyudaya Co-operative Bank Limited in 1965.  That was a fantastic achievement.     

In April 1988, the Reserve Bank of India gave Scheduled Bank status to 11 big Co-operative Banks.  Abhyudaya Co-operative Bank Limited, although the youngest in age, was one amongst them; a mere sapling, it attained the third highest position amongst almost 2000 Co-operative Banks in the country.  Kudos to John, his foresight, was rewarded.  He then offered his expertise to start a Co-operative Bank for taxi drivers.  Up until the Nationalization of Banks, the taxi trade was financed only by money lenders.  In 1967, he got the registration for the New India Co-operative Bank Limited, the first Bank to be registered in Mumbai after the Banking Regulation Act was made applicable to Co-operative Banks. 

In 1920, the Christians of Mumbai headed by Mr. F.A.C. Rebello, the Doyen of the co-operative movement, had registered the Bombay Catholic Urban Co-operative Credit Society Limited.  It was dormant till 1982, with total funds of just Rs. 26,500/-.  In August 1982, John was elected its President with full powers to convert the Society into a Bank.  John accepted the challenge, and in 1984 got the Society converted into "Citizen Credit Co-operative Bank Limited".  It was the first bank which started functioning overnight, with seven branches all over Mumbai.  This was a big miracle!

The KCA had, in 1916, under the leadership of Mr. F.A.C. Rebello, established the Mangalorean Catholic Co-operative Credit Society Limited.  This too lay dormant till 1992 with total funds of around Rs. 117,000/-.  In October 1993, Mr. John D'Silva was elected its President with full powers to convert the Society into a Bank.  In the nineties, the Reserve Bank of India had revised its norms of capital requirement for converting the Society into a Bank to Rs. 60 Lakhs.  It was a big challenge.  For the sake of his fellowmen, and as a tribute to its Founders, John accepted the challenge, collected the required capital, and in 1998, the "Model Co-operative Bank Limited" was born.  It was the second bank, which started functioning overnight with ten branches all over Mumbai.  It was another miracle!    

The Reserve Bank issues circulars and directives to regulate the working of Co-operative Banks.  To overcome the difficulty of staying on track, and up-to-date, John started publishing a unique reference book since 1976, which is considered a Bible by Co-operative Bankers.

John D'Silva has the distinction of organizing four Co-operative Banks - namely, Founder and First Chairman, Model Co-operative Bank Limited, and Citizen Credit Co-operative Bank Limited; Founder and First Managing Director, New India Co-operative Bank Limited, and Abhyudaya Co-operative Bank Limited.   

For his outstanding work, he has been recognized by many institutions, and received several Awards - notable amongst them are - Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2005 from Rachana Catholic Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mangalore; Lifetime Achievement Award 2008 from the Federation of Konkani Catholic Associations of Karnataka, Bangalore.

Distinguished Achievement Award to Outstanding Konkanis 2008 from the Dr. T.M.A. Pai Foundation, Manipal;  Sandesha Special Recognition Award 2012 from the Sandesha Foundation for Culture and Education; the George Fernandes Social Award 2016 for outstanding work from the Jayashreekrishna Parisara Premi Samiti; and the New Year Award 2017 jointly instituted by Manipal University, Academy of General Education, and Syndicate Bank.

At present, he is associated with the following - Founder President, Fuddar Prathisttan; Co-Founder and Vice-Chairman, Christian Chamber of Commerce and Industry; President, Mangalorean Catholic Educational Co-operative Credit Society Limited; President, Konkani Bhasha Mandal Maharashtra; Editor-in-Chief, Co-operative Bankers Reference Book, and Trustee, S.V.M. International School.

Besides co-operative banking, Mr. D'Silva has had the privilege of organizing and working on the management of many institutions and organizations.  

John is married to Gladys, and they have two children - Amalanand and Amithanand, both married and well settled.

An inspiration life such as John's is not only impactful, but one that all should emulate to make this world a better place.    

Flavia Agnes

posted May 5, 2018, 12:58 AM by IT Administrator

Co-Founder and Director of Majlis (Legal Centre for Women), and an eminent Indian Women's Rights Lawyer 

Profile by Dr. Jeanette Pinto

Born in Bombay at the dawn of independence to Mangalorean parents, Flavia Agnes was raised by her maternal aunt in Mangalore.  The first tragedy struck on the eve of her SSC Exams, when her aunt died suddenly.  A few months later, her father passed away.  Her education stopped, and she joined her mother and sisters in Aden, Yemen, where she worked as a typist.  Political turmoil in Yemen in 1967 compelled the family to return to Mangalore.

By then, her elder and younger sisters were married, and though just 20, it was now her turn.  The arranged marriage, to a highly successful executive, turned violent from the very first week.  It hit her like a tornado, she wanted it over, but soon realised there was no escape route.  With each pregnancy, the noose around her neck tightened, and she raised three children under the shadow of violence, while she says, "the Church authorities and the community looked the other way."

But she was determined to break this cycle of violence.  In her search for freedom, in 1980, she came across the fledgling women's movement in Mumbai.  With the support of a few friends, she got the courage to walk out of the marriage, but it was an uphill task.  She persisted with courage and determination, and eventually became a women's rights lawyer at 40.

Since divorce was not an option for Christian women trapped in a violent marriage, she filed for judicial separation, but soon withdrew it as the case was going no where.  She was determined to build a movement to support victims of domestic violence, and evoke workable strategies to help them.  She pursued her education, and acquired a Law Degree in 1988.  Later, she completed her LL.M., and secured an M.PHIL from the National Law School, Bangalore, in 1997.  With this, she realised her dream of becoming a feminist legal scholar.  She had transformed herself from a victim of domestic violence to a renowned women's rights lawyer.  Acclaimed as a pioneer of the women's movement in India, Flavia has played an important role in bringing women's rights to the forefront within the legal system, and in contextualizing issues of gender and identity.

In 1990, she co-founded Majlis (which means assembly or gathering in Arabic), a legal and cultural resource centre, with its primary aim of providing access to justice to poor and marginalised women.  Since its inception, the all women team of lawyers and support persons has provided legal services to over 50,000 women across the class and religious divide.  Training the judiciary and the police, and creating awareness in schools, colleges, and community are important components of Majlis' activities.

After the 1992 communal riots in Mumbai, the organisation also included secularism and minority concerns as its core concerns.  A prolific writer, her writings provide incisive analysis of domestic violence, minority rights, secularism, and human rights.  Significant among her many publications is her gripping autobiographical book, 'My Story Our Story...Of Rebuilding Broken Lives', which has been translated into several Indian languages, as it is an inspirational narrative.

Her own personal struggle against domestic violence, and her unwavering commitment to transform victims into happy survivors has brought her many awards.  She was the recipient of the first Neerja Bhanot Award for personal bravery, the Rachana Award by the Mangalore Chamber of Commerce in 2011, the 11th Annual Kelvinator Gr8 Women Awards 2012, the Zee Marathi 'Unch Maza Zoka' Award 2014, India Today Woman Summit Award 2017, amongst others.  She says, when her Alma Mater, St. Agnes College, Mangalore, invited her as Special Guest at their centenary celebrations, it was a very special moment for her.

Winning a challenging legal case for a victim of violence, and creating positive case law gives her the greatest satisfaction.  She comments with sadness in her voice, that some of the most violent cases she has handled are those of Catholic women.

Her message is, "the decision to end violence has to be taken deep within you, the rest follows, and before you realise, you would have walked far ahead on the road to transform your life".  She adds, "raising children in a violent home sends out a wrong signal.  It is our duty to create a better world for them, and become their role models".

We, Members of the Kanara Catholic Association, salute this great lady hailing from Mangalore, and making history in women's issues.  We are proud of you dear Flavia, and wish you more power to continue the good work you are doing.         

Dr. Anthony J F Sequeira

posted Dec 22, 2017, 7:37 AM by IT Administrator   [ updated May 5, 2018, 1:02 AM ]

Eminent Medical Practitioner, and Former Senior Vice-President of Kanara Catholic Association 

Profile by Dr. Jeanette Pinto

Dr. Anthony Sequeira, an octogenarian, is an energetic, charming and popular person belonging to the Mangalorean community of Bombay.  He is present at all the social gatherings, especially those of the KCA.  His father came to this city of dreams nearly a century ago in 1918, and so Dr. Anthony is a thoroughbred Mumbaikar.

He belongs to a large family of eight children, four boys and four girls.  He was born after his three elder sisters, and so as per hear say tradition, he was referred to as 'Tiklo' of the family, which signifies that he is a very lucky 'boy child'.  His father established the Dr. Titus William Sequeira Maternity / Surgical Hospital in 1935 in Mazagaon, and Dr. Anthony was the first family baby to be delivered by his father in his own hospital.  The family was raised in Mazagaon.

Educated at leading Jesuit institutions - St. Mary's High School and St. Xavier's College in Mumbai, Anthony had a brilliant academic career.  He studied Medicine at the well-known Seth G.S. Medical College in Bombay.  He excelled not only in academics but actively participated in sports, and was even considered the sports icon of the college.  He was the first student in the history of the college to break a University Athletics Record on December 8, 1953.  His forte was the Walking Race, and he also took part in the 800, 1,500 and 10,000 metres race.  He also played for the Bombay University Hockey Team for three years.

His professional life was interesting and busy.  He took over his father's practice immediately after his father passed away on December 24, 1959, and continued to do so for 42 years.  I have often heard him say, "You were my baby" whenever he would meet with the person.  He was an active member of the St. Luke's Medical Guild Bombay, from 1959 to 1969.  His Magnum Opus was as the Secretary General of the Third Asian Congress of Catholic Doctors held at the Taj Mahal Hotel in 1964.  In 1966, he was the Secretary of the Indian Delegation to the XI International Conference of Catholic Doctors in Manila, and was the first Indian to present a paper at any International Conference for Catholic Doctors.

Although, a medical practitioner with a busy schedule, Dr. Anthony is a person of varied interests.  He tried his language skills at Journalism; and as a medical student he soon became a Sports Freelancer and Columnist of National Standard, Indian Express, The Bombay Chronicle, and other publications.  He was the Medical Correspondent of BLITZ and contributed to Sports Week.  He was also a member of the Editorial Board of the Catholic Medical Bulletin, a supplement of The Examiner.

Dr. Anthony held many erstwhile positions; he was twice elected President of the Lions Club, Mazagaon (Dist. 323-A).  The Catholic community is proud to have had Dr. Anthony as the President of the Catholic Association of Bombay in 1976, and the Vice-President of the Catholic Union of India / All India Catholic Union (1977 - 1984).  He was the Spokesman of the Archdiocese at the Jai Hind College Rally on the O.P. Tyagi's Freedom of Religion Bill, protecting the rights of the minority communities.  In addition for three terms, he was the President of the Bombay Catholic Urban Co-operative Housing Society Ltd., Willingdon Colony, and put an end to the 40 year old fractious litigation.

Dr. Anthony's wife of recent memory, Dr. Lalita Pais met with an unfortunate fatal accident, and passed away on October 31, 2005.  His two daughters, Dr. Priya, who recently passed the M.R.C.O.G. London, and Dr. Pravina, a Dental Surgeon, are both very successful doctors working abroad.  He is blessed with a grand-daughter, Rhea, who is the apple of his eye.

Generous at heart, Dr. Anthony has made financial donations to various causes.  He has established Awards in Sportsmanship at St. Mary's High School, for both seniors and intermediates with cash prize; and Seth G.S. Medical College; the Men's and Women's Championship of St. John's Medical College, Bangalore; the Bombay High Schools I Division Football Trophy; and the Bombay University 20 KMS Walking Race.  A pro-lifer at heart, he instituted the Sr. Annunciata RGS Religious Golden Jubilee Pro-Life Award in the Archdiocese of Bombay.  He appreciated the compassionate attitude of the KEM Hospital Nurses who took care of Nurse Aruna Shanbag, who lived for 36 years in a coma.  On this account, he instituted the KEM Hospital Nurses Welfare Fund for the Aruna Shanbag Care, and additionally for KEM Hospital Nurses Welfare Fund.  He also instituted the Dr. Sanjay Oak Best Residents Award and the Dr. Manubhai L Kothari Best Students Prize.  His initiative and organization gave exposure to Dr. John Billings of the Mucous Ovulation Method to an Indian audience with regard to Natural Family Planning.

Dr. Anthony is a multi-faceted personality.  In addition to his achievements, he was:
  • Secretary, St. Luke's Medical Guild, 1959 - 1969
  • Secretary, Indian Federation of Catholic Medical Guild, 1964 - 1969
  • Corresponding Editor for India of the 'Linacre Quarterly', the Official quarterly publication of the National Catholic Physicians Guild of USA, 1969 - 1974
  • Awarded the 'Sharadini Dahanukar Hirvai / Sanman' i 2013, virtually the life-time achievement award of the Seth G.S. Medical College and KEM Hospital
  • Justice of the Peace, 1972 - 1973
  • Special Executive Magistrate, 1974 - 1975
  • Twice elected President of the Lions Club, Mazagaon, and received the 100% President's Award
  • President of the Catholic Association of Bombay, 1976
  • Vice-President, CUI / AICU, 1977 - 1984
  • Only non-Muslim to be appointed Chairman of the Minorities Cell of any political party in the country - Janata Dal (Bombay)
His special effort for the KCA, for which he was the Senior Vice-President for three terms, was laden with challenges by several Members, including three ex-Presidents to separate the KCA Trust from the KCA Hostel Trust.  He organized a full-fledged one day sports meet with events, both for juniors and seniors, under the auspices of the Greater Bombay Regional Athletics' Association, at no cost to the KCA.

The Catholic Community of Bombay, especially the KCA is proud to have a 'man of many faces' in Dr. Anthony Sequeira.  We wish him many more years of happy productive living. 

Grace Pinto

posted Oct 22, 2017, 11:16 PM by IT Administrator   [ updated May 5, 2018, 1:14 AM ]

Managing Director, Ryan International Group of Schools

Profile by Dr. Jeanette Pinto

An outstanding educationist that India can be proud of today is Grace Pinto, the Managing Director of the Ryan International Group of Schools, and over one hundred schools in the country.  Having started with a single school, it sprouted into the St. Xavier's Group of Schools, and now graduated to the Ryan International Group, operating under various Boards, and offering variety of curriculums.  They have pioneered national and international events, which have become a benchmark in the segment of global education.

She is a charming lady; "grace" personified, welcomes everyone with a big smile, and is warm and gracious.  She loves to be with children, and is proud of their achievements.  The Pinto couple have two lovely daughters, and a son named Ryan.  She is a family oriented person, and spends much time with them.

I asked Grace what motivated her to work in the field of education, to which she replied; "Nearly four decades ago, my husband Dr. Augustine F. Pinto, set up a school with a vision and passion to enable every child around to have access to education, and to equip children with life skills and empower them to be socially responsible leaders.  I joined my husband on this education life journey as a natural progression to nurture the seed God planted in our hearts".  With success and God's blessings, they have established school after school in different states of the country.

It surely is a herculean task to handle and manage so many schools, how does she do it?  Firstly, Grace is blessed with talents, and a good personality.  She mentioned that being at the helm of affairs to manage the many schools demands a lot of sacrifice and time.  There are multiple roles she needs to perform simultaneously.  It is challenging, and often she finds herself multi-tasking.  She is grateful to her army of committed and dedicated teachers and staff, and immensely appreciative of her family members who support her on this ongoing journey.

Over the years, the Ryan Group has been recognised with over 110 awards and accolades at national and international levels.  The Guinness World Records was presented to the group of schools for the highest charity donation.  Also, the group has been rewarded more than 8 Limca Book Records for its activities in media, sports, and education.  There are several other awards too that they have received.

As a philanthropist, Grace has plunged herself into many areas of social outreach.  Her several initiatives include adoption of orphanages, blind homes, homes for the elderly, reaching out to differently abled children, children of widows, women empowerment programs, village adoption, hygiene programs, health camps, environment awareness, and providing relief and rehabilitation measures for disaster- affected communities.  She does not miss any cause that needs attention.  Recently, the Ryan's Food Bucket Challenge initiative successfully collected over 700,000 kilos of food items, and distributed it to over 200 NGOs in India.

Grace has received several accolades for her multi-farious involvements.  The highlights being; she was one of the five Speakers at the Presidential National Prayer Breakfast at Washington D.C. in 2010 - "it was probably the most memorable moment in my life", she said.  She is one among "100 Women Achievers of India" felicitated by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee.  She received "the Pride of India - Woman of the Year" Award by Lord Raj Loomba, UK Parliamentarian.  Indeed, the list of achievements is long, and that makes all of us proud of her.  

Grace is a woman of deep faith.  In all her endeavours and successes, she gives 'glory to Jesus'.  She has a powerful message to gen next.  She urges them to be willing learners of life, and respectful towards others.  "I want them to be humane, empathetic, and responsible leaders of tomorrow.  Anchored firmly to values and faith in God, one can face the challenges of times.  Do not forget to count your blessings and contribute to the progress of our society, and the nation at large".

Grace has her family ancestry rooted in Mangalore.  She is a woman of strong determination, and committed to the cause of education.  Her life has been a testimony of 'Leadership in action'.

She has done her family, the Mangalorean community, and the country proud.  Kudos to Grace!

Christopher John

posted Jul 10, 2017, 5:15 AM by IT Administrator   [ updated May 9, 2018, 12:38 AM ]

Well known Kanara Catholic Entrepreneur

Profile by Dr. Jeanette Pinto

Business is an area or profession or work that most people hesitate to enter into, simply because it involves a variety of heavy risks.  One may or may not succeed because one fears loss not only of finance but also of confidence and self-esteem.  There is much at stake.  Courage, self-confidence, determination and hard work are the essential qualities that a businessman must have.  It is heartening to know that many of the young men, who hailed from Mangalore plucked up courage, plunged into the network of businesses in Mumbai and are reaping the benefits of success.

The KCA is proud of one of their early Members, Christopher John, who is today a top ranking businessman and has a business empire of his own.  Christopher in his early twenties lost his dear parents.  Being the eldest in the family, he had to shoulder the responsibility of running the family business.  He also had to support his younger siblings and help them settle well in life.

Almost five decades ago, Christopher John used to point to the sea at Marine Drive and say he owned land 'over there'.  The one acre plot was reclaimed in the 70's and left untouched for a couple of years for the land to acclimatize to city conditions.  Today, the Nariman Point that his sons know is a very different place.  It is the city's famous and costliest business sector.  It has imposing buildings like Bhaktawar Tower, Earnest House, Hoechst House, Maker Chambers and others, thus, earning the title of being the “Manhattan of Mumbai”.

Christopher is the Chairman of the “Earnest John Group of Companies".  He has with flair successfully expanded extensively in Real Estate & Infrastructure Development.  Christopher is a dynamic business leader who conducts his business with zest, enthusiasm, and élan.   A true visionary, he has worked towards making the company which has been in existence since the 1970's into a huge impressive conglomerate.  The group has diversified into multi-faceted activities in chemicals, pharmaceuticals, bulk drugs, textiles, real estate, property development, shipping and exports.  That is a remarkable achievement.

Their headquarters is located at the iconic 17 storey building at Earnest House, mainly owned by Christopher.  The building has a unique design and is in the French-style.  In 2006, Earnest House was ranked as one of the best buildings in Nariman Point.  One report states that it has a low base and in the event of an earthquake, the entire building will not collapse and fall because the building's side walls are sturdy.

The organization has strong core values and is known for its mission.  The group is presently actively involved in Port Development and is building one of the largest Ports in Maharashtra, with an investment of Rs. 10,000 crores.  The group has also identified other ports and intend to further develop more ports around the world.  That is truly an amazing venture.

Behind every man there is a woman, and so Christopher is proud of his dear wife Doris who is a highly capable lady and very supportive of his ventures.  They have two sons who are helping him in the various businesses.  They also have a daughter who is successful and owns a law firm.

Christopher is not only a man who thinks big, but also a man of the head and heart.  His philosophy in life is to work hard and to pray harder.  He understands his social responsibility, takes part in social organizations and supports many Catholic charities and causes in the Archdiocese of Bombay.  In fact, he was also one of those who made a very substantial contribution towards the building of "Yuvakalaya", a hostel for young men in Bandra.

He believes that it is essential for every human being to experience life and all its facets and develop a well-rounded personality.  He enjoys various sports activities, but is more passionate about golf.

Christopher often recalls the 'good old days'; he says, with much nostalgia, “I have seen Nariman Point grow over the years, and I've enjoyed every moment here. It is certainly the pulse of the city and we would like to be part of its celebration as it will continue to flourish.”

Christopher is truly an inspiration to the youth of today.  He is a dynamic leader to all those considering a profession in the business field. 

The KCA Members and the Catholic community at large are proud of him and salute him for carving out a niche for himself in this great megapolis of 'Amchi Mumbai'.

Ronnie Mendonca

posted May 4, 2017, 2:27 AM by IT Administrator   [ updated May 5, 2018, 1:18 AM ]

Former Police Commissioner, Mumbai

Profile by Dr. Jeanette Pinto

Mumbai is generally a peaceful city, barring an occasional flare-up.  There was a time when organised crime and ISI activities had peaked in the metropolis.  At a critical juncture like this there emerged a man of stature in the person of Mr. Ronnie Mendonca, to serve as Mumbai's Police Commissioner.  He effectively led 40,000 Officers and men of Mumbai Police Commissionerate and brought the situation under control.  He graced the Office of the Police Commissioner Mumbai in the rank of Director General of Police from August 21, 1997 to May 5, 2000 never allowing any scandal to taint it.

The Catholic community had relatively quite a number of luminaries in the Civil Services of the Government of India or the States.  Sadly today, our youth are not attracted to the Services.  Mr. Mendonca, a Mangalorean, excelled in the Indian Police Service.

Ronnie, son of William and Magdalene, was born on September 11, 1941 in Kundapur.  He had six siblings, four brothers and two sisters.  His entire family today are of sweet memory.  He was raised in Kallianpur and attended Milagres High School.  He graduated in Zoology with distinction from Bombay University, and was recipient of Shantaram Dabholkar prize.  After his Masters in Marine Zoology, he joined the Indian Police Service.

His service highlights are impressive.  In Maharashtra, he headed the Police Force in five districts as Superintendent of Police and as Commissioner of Police - in Nagpur, Thane, and Mumbai respectively.  He headed the Mumbai City Crime Branch, and served in the Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India, as Director and also as Joint Secretary (1987-1995).  He also headed the Maharashtra State C.I.D Crime Department.  During his last posting as Director Anti-Corruption Bureau Maharashtra State (2000-2001), many traps were conducted successfully and several senior government officers including one Additional Commissioner of Police were booked.  It is recorded that his outstanding commitment, courage, hard work and loyalty made him successful.  This is an inspiration to our young generation.

Mr. Mendonca's family consists of his wife Clotilda Rita, born and brought up in Dharwar.  She is a retired lecturer in Sociology.  The couple have two children, a daughter Rashmi married to Arthur da Gama, and a son Vinay, married to Suzanne Menezes.  Both children are bankers in London.  Ronnie and Rita are blessed with three grandchildren Neil, Ronit and Rahul.

After retirement, Mr. Mendonca worked on several Committees.  He was member of the Civil Service Reforms Committee, Government of India; and served as a member of the Maharashtra State Security Committee.  He is a Trustee of the Mumbai Mohalla Committees and Maharashtra Governor's nominee in the Managing Committee of the King George V Memorial Infirmary.

He is a linguist knowing Hindi, English, Marathi, Kannada, Konkani and the dialect Tulu.  He prides in his mother tongue and participates at all Konkani functions. Addressing a gathering of around 3,000 people at Shanmukananda Hall, Matunga, on October 23, he appealed to the Bhasha Mandal to work towards having one script for the language.  He relaxes playing the harmonica, gardening and trekking.

When asked what made him join the Police Force, he said that he was fascinated by the uniform as a boy scout and as a NCC Cadet.  He had a romance with uniformed services which drew him into the Indian Police Service.  He appeared at the UPSC exam for the IPS and simultaneously completed his M.SC.  He remarked, “I could not have made a better choice.  The Indian Police Service is a daunting and challenging one, but it provided me a good career and gave me an opportunity to help people in distress, serve the community and the nation with the authority of law invested in me”.

Ronnie Mendonca has received many accolades.  He is Recipient of the President's Police Medal for Distinguished Service, and commended for bravery by the Government of India.  In 2000, he received the outstanding Konkani Award presented by Dr. T.M.A Foundation, Manipal.

Surely, the Kanara Catholic community is proud of you, Mr. Mendonca!

Lawrence Coelho

posted Mar 1, 2017, 9:15 PM by IT Administrator   [ updated May 5, 2018, 1:21 AM ]

Publisher, The Secular Citizen

Profile by Dr. Jeanette Pinto

The Catholic community in Mumbai are familiar with 'The Secular Citizen' (TSC), a National Family Weekly, published by Mr. Lawrence Coelho.  The 24 page magazine celebrates twenty-five glorious years in the field of communication. Congratulations Mr. Coelho to your brainchild, commitment and dedication, to this magazine which provides a wide coverage on the Christian community.  It has a page devoted to Vox Populi (Voices of the People), which contains inspirational articles, updates of events, happenings in the Catholic Church, and a variety of articles, most of them written by well-known writers.  There is a mix of spiritual, social, inspirational, political, and secular news, as well as new trends in society.  

The first issue, in magazine format, was published in April 1992.  This was preceded as a quarterly issue under the masthead of 'The New Horizon' in December 1991.

Lawrence Coelho, the eldest child in the family hails from the village of Inna, belonging to the Belman Parish (now bifurcated and known as Mukamar Parish), Mangaluru. He has four siblings, three sisters and a brother.  The family was poor and lived very modestly, with his father being a taxi driver in Bombay, and mother, a home maker. Lawrence received his elementary education in Mangaluru, and completed his graduation in Bombay.  The other siblings were educated in Bombay.

He did not have any special hobbies, but early in life, Lawrence was passionately involved in parish and diocesan activities.  He yearned for opportunities to involve in social outreach, and participated in church based initiatives.  Gradually, and single-mindedly, he focused on publications.  It gripped his imagination and, thereafter, publishing triggered his venture into entrepreneurship.  He saw the need of the Christian community to have a mouthpiece for community expression.  Thus, keen to fulfill this need through his publication, he was fired to start 'The Secular Citizen', and three years later, yet another venture in the establishment of 'Divo', a magazine in Konkani, which incidentally was earlier hand composed.

Dr. Jeanette Pinto, Member of the Editorial Board of the Amchi Khobor News Magazine, visited the small cozy office of Mr. Coelho in South Bombay, and in her conversation with him, learnt he has no journalistic background.  Despite this, it is amazing, Mr. Coelho is the Founder-Owner-Publisher, all rolled in one.  His first Editor, was and is still, Philip Myaboo.  Lawrence takes personal interest in the selection, editing and collation of materials for each issue.  There are suitable attractive colour pictures, news and views, and matrimonial columns reaching out to the young community.  His miniscule dedicated team help in the layout and design of every issue, and the cover page is always attractive and eye catching.

Mr. Coelho's greatest support is his dear wife, Susan.  The simple unassuming couple works like two peas in a pod.  She looks into the subscriber's lists, and the postal service is at her fingertips.  She personally and stoically supervises the dispatch of every issue of the two publications across the length and breadth of the country.  Lawrence says, "my wife's dedication and involvement in the TSC, and its sister publication Divo, is to be greatly appreciated.  She represents the group at various events, and is the Public Relations Officer, and Finance Controller, too".  He further adds, "we take decisions together". On her part, Susan is very appreciative of her husband's project, and supports him one hundred percent.  They trust and understand each other, and that really is, the secret of their success.

Lawrence Coelho has also been generous in instituting awards and honouring achievers in various spheres of life.  Their awards are citations, floral bouquets, ceremonial shawls, and often times, a generous sum of money in cash.  Some of the awardees are Anthony Parakal ('King of Letter Writers'), Mr. Marshall Sequeira ('Writer of the Year'), and there are other awards for social and cultural meets.  TSC is now available in e-paper edition for online readers. The e-learning portal www.limrt.com which is an online learning web-site is a great boost.  It offers help to develop skills for those interested in learning more about academic and corporate topics.  What more can a slim magazine offer?

A thoroughbred Mangalorean, his message to Gen Next is, "don't forget your roots, culture and traditions.  That is what binds us, if lost we will become extinct over time".  Indeed, it is a matter of pride that a publication by a member of the Kanara Christian community has reached its 25th milestone, whereas some others have gone into hibernation along the way.  Lawrence, a self-made person, still harbours a keen desire to introduce a daily newspaper, and by the grace of God, may his dream come true.

The KCA is proud of both of you, Lawrence and Susan.  You are indeed an inspiration to our young generation to understand that hard work, focus, and dedication to a cause are the keys to success.  

Allen C A Pereira

posted Mar 1, 2017, 2:33 AM by IT Administrator   [ updated May 5, 2018, 1:23 AM ]

Former Chairman and Managing Director, Bank of Maharashtra

Profile by Dr. Jeanette Pinto

Allen C A Pereira was born in Mangaluru on September 16, 1950, and completed his education from St. Aloysius College, having graduated in History and Economics.  He earned a Master's Degree in Social Work (MSW) specializing in Labour Welfare and Industrial Organization from the University of Mysore in 1972.

He joined Syndicate Bank as a Probationary Officer at Manipal, and his career in this bank spanned 33 years, where he shouldered administrative and operational responsibilities, like Personnel Administration and Industrial Relations.  He was Visiting Faculty at the bank's Apex and Regional Training Centres, and Manager of Branches in Goa and Delhi.  

He gained vast experience in Agriculture and SME Finance, Retail Corporate and International Banking.  His career graph took him through various banking departments, and he soon climbed up the ladder to occupy the position of Chairman and Managing Director.

He was Personnel Advisor in Indian Banks' Association from 1999-2002 at Mumbai, and was closely associated with the work of IBA's HRM Committee for Public Sector Banks. During this period, he also functioned as the CEO of Banks' Sports Board.  In 2006, he moved over to the Oriental Bank of Commerce, with its headquarters at Delhi, as the Executive Director.  

In June 2008, he took over leadership of the Bank of Maharashtra as its Chairman and Managing Director, and superannuated on September 30, 2010.  After superannuation in 2010, he took over the reins of the National Institute of Bank Management set-up by the RBI and Banks of Pune.

Impressed with his profile, Allen was asked the secret of his success, and his reply was "I could not have achieved all this without self-discipline and hard work.  I was fair and firm in all my dealings, and had no hierarchical barriers between me, my peers, and my juniors."  He also suggested that he stood for his convictions, took on responsibility, was transparent and made speedy decisions, whenever needed.

With such a glowing career, Allen has done the Mangalorean community proud.  After retirement, he returned to his roots, and is now living in Kulshekar, Mangaluru.  He is invited to be a member of various organizations.  He is Vice-President of the Konkani Language and Cultural Foundation World Konkani Centre, Shakti Nagar, Mangaluru.  He also holds advisory positions in several institutions of learning in Mangaluru and Manipal.

Allen was a good athlete in school, and also played hockey, cricket, table tennis and badminton.  His hobbies are philately, music, reading; and he loves nature. His late father, William Peter Pereira, was ex Q.P.C. at Doha, Qatar.  His mother, Bridget Angeline (nee Rego), was a well-known social worker, active in vocational training for women.  She was Founder of the first Mahila Mandal in Kulshekar, recognised as one of the best in Karnataka.  Allen's wife, Eveline, former lecturer at KMC Manipal, and a medical social worker is enjoying her sunset years.  Their son, Angelo, a Post Graduate in Electronics from Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA, is working as Manager (Research and Design) at Texas Instruments, Dallas, Texas, USA; and their daughter, Angeline, a Graduate from MIT Manipal is working as an Associate Consultant with TCS, Mumbai.

Allen C A Pereira has been appreciated by various organizations for his excellent leadership.  He was awarded the Vishishta Kannadiga Award 2007 from Karnataka Sangha, Delhi, in recognition of his contribution to the field of Banking; TMC Excellence Award in March 2010 from the top Management Consortium, Pune; Rotary Award for Professional Excellence 2008-2009 from Rotary International District 3050 / Ahmedabad; Eminent Aloysius Award 2014 presented by the St. Aloysius College Alumni Association; and The New Year 2016 Award for outstanding services to the society by the Manipal University and Syndicate Bank. Truly, he is a wonderful leader for our aspiring Generation Next, to imitate.

His message to young people is "if one is passionate about touching people's lives, and making themselves self-reliant, the banking profession offers a great number of opportunities".  He proudly claims that the best achievement in life is to be a good human being, and credits his parents for having taught him valuable unforgettable lessons.
We are proud of you, Allen C A Pereira.  May your life be an inspiration to many of our young people in Amchi Mumbai.   

Dr. Anil D'Cruz

posted Jun 24, 2016, 6:59 AM by IT Administrator   [ updated May 8, 2018, 11:42 PM ]

Director, Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital, Mumbai

Profile by Dr. Jeanette Pinto

One of the most prominent and distinguished personalities among the Mangalorean community in Mumbai is Dr. Anil D'Cruz. He is the son of Joaquim D'Cruz and the late Cynthia nee (Fernandes) D'Cruz.  The D'Cruz family since the mid-fifties had settled in Delhi. Dr. D'Cruz and his four siblings - brothers Prem, Dilip, Vivek, and sister Vinita were raised in Delhi, and are presently all abroad holding very important positions in their fields of work.

Armed with a Jesuit education at St. Xavier's School, Delhi, Dr. D'Cruz graduated from St. John's Medical College, Bangalore in 1984 and went on to complete his Masters in General Surgery at the Mumbai University.  His wife, Dr. Manisha is a Pathologist, and his young sons, Rohan and Jason are building up their careers.

Presently, Dr. D'Cruz is the Director at the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, India and Professor and Surgeon in the Department of Head and Neck Surgery.  He is also a Diplomate of the National Board, New Delhi.  In recognition of his professional standing in the field of Surgery, he was awarded the Honorary FRCS from the Royal College of Surgeons, London.

To be heading the Tata Memorial Hospital is no mean task.  The hospital situated in Parel, Mumbai, is a Specialist Cancer Treatment and Research Centre, closely associated with the Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research, and Education in Cancer (ACTREC).  One of the fields of specialization of this hospital is in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (A.L.L).  The hospital claims to treat and cure 99% of A.L.L. patients.  This hospital is also one of the few in India to have a P.E.T. scanner.

Every year, nearly 30,000 patients visit the clinics from all over India and neighbouring countries.  Nearly 60% of these cancer patients receive primary care, of which, over 70% are treated almost free of charge.  Over 1,000 patients daily attend the OPD, nearly 8,500 major operations are performed, and 5,000 patients are treated annually with Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy.  The Tata Memorial Centre is the national comprehensive cancer centre for the prevention, treatment, education, and research in cancer, and is recognized as one of the leading cancer centres in this part of the world.

As a youngster, Dr. D'Cruz enjoyed soccer and "playing the fool, little of everything", he muses.  In leisure moments, he enjoys reading and listening to music - oldies and western classical songs.  Despite his hectic schedule, amazingly to has to his credit over 200 peers reviewed Publications and Chapters.  He is an Editor of a two-volume book on Head and Neck Surgery, and also to be released Manual of Clinical Oncology and Hamilton Bailey Clinical Signs.  He has delivered over 300 invited lectures and orations, and has been visiting Professor to several institutions, both nationally and internationally.  He is a member of the Editorial Board of Head Neck Journals, and also is a reviewer for several scientific national and international journals; indeed, he is constantly globetrotting.

Dr. D'Cruz is a member of numerous professional bodies in India, namely, The Indian Society of Surgical Oncology, Association of Surgeons of India, Indian Society for Cancer Research, Indian Association of Surgical Oncology, Indian Society of Head and Neck Oncology, and the Action Council for Tobacco Control.

He inculcates in his students a high sense of dedication, enumerates many examples and adds: "the need to challenge the dogma is very important for a medical professional".  He strongly feels that doctors must update themselves on medical research, and tailor their patience accordingly.  He also emphasized that students must go through the randomized control trials, otherwise known as evidence based medicine.  He says, "a good doctor is one who combines his clinical experience with best external evidence, which combines with research."

The Catholic Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mangalore, in 2014 presented the Rachana Award to Dr. D'Cruz in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the medical profession, and to society.  At the Heroes of Healthcare International Lecture Series, Dr. D'Cruz advised GMU students: "to become a successful healthcare professional, the right attitude towards a patient is a must."  His powerful concluding remarks were, "Knowledge comes from research.  You should be the doctors of the day than of the past."

The Mangalorean community is proud of you, Dr. D'Cruz.   

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