Konkani Cultural Icon Basti Vaman Shenoy no more

11:52 AM, Monday, January 3rd, 2022
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Basti Vaman-ShenoyMangaluru : Eminent Konkani cultural activist and founder of World Konkani Centre, Shaktinagar, Basti Vaman Madhav Shenoy (87) passed away on 2nd January, 2022 at 12.15 pm at Father Muller Hospital, Thumbay due to age-related illness. His health had been deteriorating in the last few weeks and he had been hospitalized for the last two days. He is survived by two sons, Madhav and Dinesh, and a daughter Vidya Kini. His wife Savithri had passed away a few years back. He was earlier an employee of Syndicate Bank and had been residing at Thumbay after his retirement from thirty years of banking service.

He was the Co-Chairman Emeritus of Konkani Bhas Ani Sanskriti Prathistan, the parent body of World Konkani Centre. Earlier he had served as the President of Konkani Bhas Ani Sanskriti Prathistan since its inception in 1996 till 2021. He was known by the title ‘Vishwa Konkani Sardar’ and was a recipient of the Karnataka Rajyotsava Award in 2010. Throughout his life, Basti Vaman Shenoy was known as an exceptional community leader with outstanding organizing abilities and a great capacity to bring people together.

The mortal remains will be kept for public homage at World Konkani Centre, Shakti Nagar, Mangaluru from 9.00 a.m. to 10.00 a.m. on Monday, the 3rd January 2022. Cremation will be held thereafter at 12.00 noon at his hometown of Bantwal.

World Konkani Centre has issued a media release with expression of condolences by its Chairman Emeritus R. V. Deshapande, Chairman Dr. P. Dayananda Pai, President Nandagopal Shenoy , Chief Mentor T. V. Mohandas Pai, Ramadas Kamath U., Ullas Kamath, K.V. Kamath, Madam Grace Pinto, Pradeep G. Pai, B. R. Bhat, Giridhar Kamath, Dr. K. Mohan Pai, K. B. Kharvi, Narayan Naik, Ramesh Naik, Gilbert D’Souza, Melvyn Rodrigues, William D’Souza, Allen C. A. Pereira and all the Trustees of Konkani Bhas Ani Sanskriti Prathistan.

Biography

Basti Vaman Shenoy was born on 6 November 1934 in Bantwal to Basti Madhav Shenoy and his wife Gowri. He passed out of Tenth Standard (SSLC) in 1952 from the SVS High School in Bantwal. He was a protégé of T. A. Pai, former Chairman of Syndicate Bank and Union Minister for Railways, and on his advice, joined Syndicate Bank as a clerk in 1962. Due to his dynamic nature, he was promoted to officer cadre within just 20 months and continued to serve the bank as Manager until he took voluntary retirement in 1992.

Basti Vaman Shenoy had been associated with Konkani Bhasha Mandal, Karnataka since 1980 and after his retirement from banking career in 1992, devoted completely to Konkani cultural activities. He was made the organising secretary of the Konkani Jatha Movement for organising people to demand establishment of Konkani Academy. In 1993, he became the president of Konkani Bhasha Mandal Karnataka. Because of his efforts in 1994-95, the Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy came into existence. He had also strived for the recognition of Konkani Language and inclusion in 8th Schedule of the Constitution of India.

His most memorable contribution to Konkani cultural revival was the First World Konkani Convention 1995, which he had organised at Mangalore as its Chief Convener from 16 December to 22. The seven day event which was inaugurated by Chief Minister Deve Gowda, was a spectacular success drawing more than 5000 delegates comprising speakers of all Konkani dialects from across India and the world. Due to this effort, he was conferred with the title of “Vishwa Konkani Sardar” (World Leader of Konkani).

The convention also gave him the mandate to establish the World Konkani Centre in Mangalore and the financial surplus generated by the Convention was devoted for this project, which materialized a decade later and was inaugurated in 2009. The World Konkani Centre is engaged in wide ranging cultural and academic activities, including providing full educational scholarships to hundreds of students to take up professional education. In honour of his lifetime contribution to Konkani culture, the Konkani Bhas Ani Sanskriti Prathistan has instituted Shri Basti Vaman Shenoy Vishwa Konkani Seva Puraskar for the recognizing outstanding public service by Konkani people.

In 1996 Basti Vaman Shenoy inaugurated the First North American Konkani Convention at New Jersey, USA. He toured North American cities promoting the cause of Konkani during his visit. In 1997 Basti Vaman Shenoy became the President of the newly formed Karnataka Konkani Saithya Academy. He served two terms as President of the Academy till 2001. During his tenure as President of the Academy he initiated a process of lobbying with the Government of Karnataka to introduce Konkani in the Schools of Karnataka as the optional third Language. In 1998, the Academy organised a 3 Day “Konkani Kala Utsav” in New Delhi and he led the 130 member cultural team to showcase Konkani Culture at the Capital City.

In 2002, he organised the 20th Adhiveshan of All India Konkani Parishad in Mangaluru. In 2004, he became the president of All India Konkani Parishad. In 2008, under the banner of KLCF, Shenoy initiated Vishwa Konkani Abhiyan aimed at creating opportunity of interaction between Konkani Writers and Scholars with their counterparts in other languages of the country. Scholars from Panjabi, Hindi, Persian, Urdu, Kannada and Konkani Languages participated in the seminar ‘Integration Through Languages’.

In December 1999, he had also organised another mega event, the Vishwa Saraswat Sammelan in Mangalore to bring the dispersed Saraswat community together.

He joined Rotary International in 1972 and rendered his service to the society as Rotarian in various capacities. In 1974 he organised Eye Camps and Dental Camps in Bantwal Taluk. For his humanitarian initiatives in providing relief to the Flood Victims of 1974 Flood of Netravati River in Bantwal Taluk he received Special Significance Award in Rotary Dist. 318 at Mysore. He became the president of Rotary Club in Moodabidri and organised Eye Camps and Dental Camps along with other social initiatives.

Basti Vaman Shenoy was involved in Indian National Congress and its trade union wing INTUC Activities in Bantwal between 1954 and 1962. Basti Vaman Shenoy was instrumental in founding Saraswathi Kala Prasarak Sangh and Saraswathi Sangeeth Shala Bantwal in 1958. He was also an active member of Yashvanth Vyayam Shala. He used to take part in Konkani Dramas and Theatrical activities during festivities in Bantwal.

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