KonCAB (KONKANI CATHOLIC ASSOCIATION, BANGALORE) as acronym, lovingly christened by the founders in the year 1991, triggers a sense of activism like never before, amongst Konkani Catholics. It brings a sense of pride, of being a united community, spiritually first, socially and linguistically next.
It all started on a Gandhi Jayanthi day in Jyothi school premises in Kammanahalli, by a bunch of zealous young and young at heart Konkani Catholics, residing in and around north east Bangalore. What started as an association, is now an extended large family, growing beyond the boundaries of Bangalore, and has over 600 families registered. The Association itself is a registered body in the state of Karnataka.
KonCAB, in its action plan has dynamism inculcated in all wanted spheres of reviving Konkani traditions, bonds of love and family values, collective socialism, sports and sacrifice. The signature feature of KonCAB is the team spirit which is imparted in all the elected committees. Year after year this is exhibited and supported by all the office bearers. Therefore one can witness a distinct style of functioning of the working and management committees.
One of the popular activity stared by KonCAB was CTBT- Cricket And Throw Ball Tournament, an annual event which, in Bangalore, became a milestone in bringing all similar Konkani associations together with spirit of sportsmanship. Currently another talent search cultural fete known as KALANJALI, brings to the fore, young and all talented at one umbrella. Retreat in Konkani, celebration of ‘Monti Fest’, Carol singing, Yuva Milan and New Year ball are worth mentioning. Also, participates in all Federation (FKCA) activities.
It was indeed a proud moment for KonCAB when it represented Bangalore in KONKANI NIRANTARI, a marathon singing for 40 hours which ultimately created a new Guinness World Record. KonCAB in its endeavour to have a building of its own for the benefit of Association and to the Konkani Community, has bought a piece of land near Kammanahalli, Bangalore and successful in building own community hall Konkan Samudai Bhavan.
KONCAB…The Path Trodden…
On the Gandhi Jayanthi day, on October 2nd 1991, at Jyothi School Kammanahalli, a very humble gathering of like-minded Konkani Catholics residing in and around north east Bangalore triggered the formation of KONCAB with the purpose of a new concept – being in acquaintance with each other. All that was required to make a great recipe for KONCAB beginning was some senior wise and folks, who had the urge to contribute for the Konkani cause and some zealous young men and women, who were eager to mingle for the Konkani brotherhood. An informal committee of interested and able to serve people was created during the same meeting. Aims and objectives of the Association were in sync with Konkani speaking Catholics residing in Bangalore.
Ideas flew, actions began and registration of the Association was in progress. It was the age of postcards, inland letters, and if you were lucky enough you had a BSNL landline phone connection. But the biggest communication mode was word of mouth, and one would virtually feast on every opportunity of meeting and talking to each other. By the year 1992, the Bye laws of the Association were formalized with the Registrar of Societies.
Formal working committee of KONCAB would meet at least once in a month in one of the Committee member’s house and sometimes more often because, “meeting was a pleasure” but working on a novel idea was luxury.
Konkani culture from the regions of West coast to Malnad was always enlivened by the Association for all the member families. Although Monthi festh was already an established cultural and spiritual annual event, it would have a formal Konkani cultural status in Bangalore at Holy Ghost Church in Richards town. The event catapulted to a greater magnitude of Konkan grandeur.
The committee would propose regular social, charitable and cultural activities for the Association member families and thereafter implement such programs. Some of these programs and achievements recollected are:
- Prayer committee would have prayer meetings and also 1 to 2 days spiritual Retreats, every year in Ascension Church premises conducted by different Priests and spiritual singing groups. Koncab had arranged travel for the members to Potta in Kerala to attend the Retreat at Potta Retreat Center.
- Equipped with talented singers, musicians and a qualified Choir Master, KONCAB has been conducting Konkani Choir for various Eucharistic celebrations and funeral Mass of its deceased members over the years.
- Charity visits and donations (monetary and in kind) to some of the Old age homes, Orphanages, Schools etc, including Sumanahalli Leprosy Center, Jyothi School and Maria Nikethan School.
- Visit to the ailing and aged members of the society is done with love and care on numerous occasions mostly by the Executive Committee members.
- KONCAB took active role in providing Matrimonial Service to its members during the initial years. This service will be revived in future for the benefit of its members and also the community.
- Blood donation camps during Lenten season – the best human donation one could give. Koncab had also arranged blood donors and emergency support for the members and their families during accidents and emergency situations.
- Excellence awards for the members and• Excellence awards for the members andtheir children who are excelling in theirAcademics, Sports, Arts and any goodachievements. Every year KONCABhonours such eligible wards with citations,prizes and honour in public, commendingtheir excellence.
- Picnics for the member families wouldhave leisure and entertainment andappreciated by all the attendees. Some ofthe memorable picnics are – to Goa, toMekedatu, to Hirebail, to Jog Falls, to Hoskote, to The Club, to Aspen Heights, to some Farm houses etc.
- The first in house production of Konkani play, “HOTELANTH KON THO” conceived, directed, rehearsed, acted and presented on stage to the populace, all by Committee members and their families and friends, enthralled the entire audience in the Holy Ghost Church hall and had everyone in splits through the humor.
- Buoyed by the success of the first play, the committee members and some enthusiastic members went on to stage the second in house production play “SAIRIKECHO MHALO” successfully.
- KARAVALI UTSAV – A grand Konkani Mela, a 2 day cultural extravaganza in St Germains High school grounds. Apart from people with Mangalorean roots, we had some star attendees like Ananth Nag, Vinaya Prasad and Kodava Samaja Committee members among the attendees.
- “DON VORAM HASYACHIM LARAM” – a two hour comedy show in Town Hall by the famous “Doll-Fel-Chal” trio that was enjoyed by the houseful audience. The “Doll-Fel-Chal” trio (Dolphy, Felix and Charles) were honoured with Citations at this occasion. We also had some of the Kannada Film stars – Doddanna and Srinivas Murthy attending the function.
- KONCAB went beyond the local social reach in promoting Konkani culture and conceptualized a unique sporting activity for all Bangalore based Konkani Catholics. Cricket for men, and Throwball for women. The tournament known as CTBT. Conducted CTBT for 10 successful years before handing it over to BKCS Koramangala and now to FKCA.
- During Christmas season, the KONCAB youth, accompanied by the Executive Committee and enthusiastic members take part in Carols singing at members houses to spread the joy of Christmas. At times, this was followed by a Christmas tree program for all the members.
- Dec 31st – New year bash, although discontinued now for various reasons, was an event where members of the Association had a real family event of thanksgiving and ushering in the new year. This was a highly appreciated and sought after event.
- Yuva Milan for the youth wing of KONCAB – to encourage young Konkani minds and tune them to the culture with the changing times and inclusive development with our Association.
- DAKSHINOTSAV – a Joint Cultural Event with KCA in St Joseph’s grounds was very unique bonding for both the Associations, with Konkan cultural splendour in display.
- KONCAB worked with the Producers of “BHOGSANE” Konkani Feature Film for its release in Bangalore. During the Premier Show of the film at the Chowdaiah Memorial Hall, few Konkani singers, poets and writers were honored including late Wilfy Rebimbus.
- KONCAB presented few children’s TV programs in Chandana TV. Many children of KONCAB members had participated in these programs.
- KALANJALI: It was the brainchild of KONCAB to give opportunity and stage to every Konkani Catholic of Bangalore, who are enthusiastic of showing their Talents and simultaneously promote Konkani culture and Konkani language. This program has been the hallmark event for every young and not so old Konkani Catholics of Bangalore. This mega event conducted year after year, is meticulously implemented with lots of planning and expenditure.
To keep up with the age of internet, KONCAB launched its website www.koncab.com to share the updates, events and other details with its members.
- It was indeed a proud moment for KONCAB when it represented Bangalore in KONKANI NIRANTARI, a marathon singing event for 40+ hours organized by Mandd Sobhann, which ultimately created a new Guinness World Record in marathon group singing in 2008.
- Creation of Federation of Konkani CatholicAssociations: KONCAB has played a vital role whileforming the FKCA. When many Konkani CatholicAssociations were formed in different parts ofBangalore city, a need was felt for a central coordination platform primarily to collectively show KONKANSstrong presence as a politically aware population in thecity of Bangalore. Right from the inception KONCABhas shown solidarity in FKCA in its movements.
- In its Silver Jubilee year, KONCAB honored all the present and ex-committee members with a memento to appreciate their service to KONCAB during the grand function held after the Silver Jubilee AGM held on 19th June 2016 at Holy Ghost Church Parish Hall.
In our pursuit to have our own office, with a great foresight KONCAB bought a piece of land near ring road in Kalyananagar in the early years. Later, together with Kanara Catholic Association (KCA, Bangalore) we formed a Trust called Konkan Welfare Trust (KWT) and went ahead with a first of a kind project to build a Community hall for the benefit Bangalore Konkan Community and hostel facility for the Mangalorean Konkani people coming to Bangalore in search of jobs, studies etc. We are proud to say that with the help of several generous hearted people and major patrons like Mr. Ronald Colaco and Mr. Leslie Fernandes and through the outstanding leadership of Mr. Ronald Colaco and his son Mr. Nigel Colaco the KONKAN SAMUDAI BHAVAN building has been completed and open for bookings for the public.
- KONCAB is privileged and grateful that we were able to celebrate our grand Silver Jubilee function on 20th of November 2016 in this new KONKAN SAMUDAI BHAVAN hall. The new building was blessed on 19th November 2016 by Rev.Fr. Francis D’Souza S.J. assisted by Rev.Fr. Selvaraj S.J. and Rev.Fr. Jayaseelan S.J.
Today, with its strength of more than 600 members, KONCAB feels blessed and proud to celebrate the Silver Jubilee year. As much as its members, the Executive Committee of KONCAB feels privileged to be part of this 25 years old, youthful and energetic Konkani Association. The seed sown by the founders, nurtured and grown by the successive Presidents, Secretaries and the Executive Committees has definitely borne fruits. It is the discipline and able management and direction given by all the Executive committees in past 25 years that has made KONCAB one of the strong and successful Konkani Associations of Bangalore.