Bringing together like-minded people who share cultural, social, lingual and at times religious bonds and establishing an organization is surely an achievement. And keeping these bonds ever strong, nurturing talents and channelling everyone’s energy to achieve greater heights and foster unity is a rarity. But bringing together people who are from different cultural, social, lingual and religious background under a single platform and forming a group that stands by and for each other, reaches out to the needy and the deserving, accomplishes sterner targets and keep on doing so for years together, that too in a foreign region and alien environment is just not an astounding achievement but a miracle indeed. It requires tremendous leadership qualities, unparallel bonds of unity and a never ending desire to give back to the society from where one rises up.
Tulu Koota Qatar (TKQ) is a perfect example of this miracle, a miracle that has happened in the deserts of oil-rich country of Qatar. It was 15 years ago that Tulu Koota came into existence with a motive to develop togetherness with feeling of security among the Tuluvas residing in Qatar and provide recreation to the members in the midst of their hectic work and home life in Qatar. This platform became crucial as it also acted as a support system to the Tuluvas in their critical life situations. Tulu is one language that unites people from different cultures, social and even economical backgrounds, and it was this common uniting factor that also brought together people from all walks of life together in Qatar 15 years ago. Years have passed by but Tulu Koota has stood the test of time and grown by leaps and bounds to be recognized as one of the premier socio-cultural organizations established and run successfully by the Indian expatriate community in Qatar.
This is why the crystal jubilee celebrations of Tulu Koota were going to be special and memorable and as it transpired, it was indeed one of the best programmes ever conducted by Tulu Koota. Under the able leadership of dynamic president Ravi Shetty, fondly known as Ravianna and with contribution and cooperation from the executive committee members, volunteers and TKQ family, the 15th anniversary celebrations indeed will go down the annals of TKQ as one of the most professional and memorable events ever organized. The celebrations held at the DPS Auditorium here on Friday April 10 evening came in praise from all those who attended.
The evening was special not just because of the variety of cultural programmes but because TKQ went a step ahead and honoured three outstanding Tuluvas who have made Tulunadu proud with their professional achievements and humanitarian approach. Padmashree Dr B R Shetty of NMC and UAE Exchange Group, Abdulla Kunhi of Yenepoya Group and philanthropist and NRI entrepreneur Ronald Colaco were conferred with the prestigious ‘Tununada Bolpu’ awards on the occasion.
The awesome triumvirate of Tulunadu has been outstanding achievers in their chosen profession. But what sets them apart from others is their belongingness to the society, their concern towards the needy and the less fortunate ones and their love for culture and traditions of their native land. Tulu Koota could not have chosen anyone else to confer this prestigious awards and those present on the occasion were witness to the fact that B R Shetty, Abdulla Kunhi and Ronald Colaco richly deserved this award. Their simplicity and humility was visible as they accepted the award with gratefulness and floored the audience with their words of wisdom.
They were draped with a shawl, presented with a memento and honoured with traditional cardamom garland by Raj Kumar Singh, Deputy Chief of Mission, Indian Embassy Qatar and Tulu Koota president Ravi Shetty along with Walter Nandalike of Daijiworld Media, ICBF president Aravind Patil, ICC president Girish Kumar, ICC general secretary and Tulu Koota past president Divakar Poojary and TKQ executive committee members and past presidents.
Acknowledging the awards Abdulla Kunhi dedicated the award to his parents and thanked TKQ for choosing him for this prestigious award. His short speech which displayed his humility floored the audience who rose in unison and gave a standing ovation as he concluded. Ronald Colaco whose philanthropic works have gone beyond cultural, religious and social boundaries said that he felt humbled on being conferred with ‘Tulunada Bolpu’ award.
“My parents advised me that whatever I do and whatever I accomplish, I must not forget my roots that I must not cut off my bonds from society and people from where I rose up. I am just doing it. I have been blessed by the Almighty abundantly and I am just sharing His blessings with my brethren,” Colaco said.
Padmashree Dr B R Shetty’s words of wisdom and experience wherein he narrated his story of exodus to Middle East took everyone present in the audience to their humble roots. “In a way I was forced to take up a job abroad. I was vice-president of Udupi Town Municipality those days (and the late Dr V S Acharya was the president then) and I did accomplish a lot as aspiring politician then. But soon I realized that my political stint was taking me nowhere in personal and professional life and I had to make a decision either to stay back and continue or move abroad and look for greener pastures. I took up the second option and despite hard times in my early career, I believed that everything that the God does is for our good. I believed in myself and believed in God’s grace and that is why I have been able to achieve these little things.
“There are number of people who have helped me during my difficult times, people who never knew me, people with whom I did not share any personal bond, stood by me in my difficult times. Had not these people believed me and stood by me, I would not have been what I am today. So it is my bounden duty to give back to the society which has helped to reach these heights and I am just doing what I am supposed to do,” he said.
Daijiworld editor-in-chief Walter Nandalike who was present on the occasion addressed the gathering and congratulated the celebrated troika of Tulunadu Dr B R Shetty, Abdulla Kunhi and Ronald Colaco on being conferred with Tulunada Bolpu award. He also commended the efforts of Tulu Koota Qatar in preserving and promoting Tuluva culture in Qatar.
The stage programme began with the eloquent welcome address by TKQ president Ravi Shetty. TKQ General Secretary Kiran Anand presented the report.
The entire felicitation programme and the main event was hosted by one of the most celebrated Tulu-Kannada hosts from Mangalore Manohar Prasad who is also the News Editor of Udayavani Kannada daily. Manohar Prasad’s amazing language skills coupled with wit and his knowledge of Tulu culture and traditions kept the audience engrossed throughout the event. The guests were escorted to the dais by TKQ president and Executive committee members. Later the guests were given a warm welcome by presenting floral bouquets.
Earlier the much-awaited crystal jubilee celebrations ‘Permeda Padinain’ began with introductory remarks by the compere of the evening Dr Padmashree Shetty which was followed by formal inauguration by lighting the lamp by the TKQ president, executive committee members and elders from the gathering. As is the tradition TKQ also felicitated outstanding contributors who have played a major role in executing various programmes and initiatives of TKQ. Further the TKQ Ladies Throwball team which was the Runners-up at the MCC Annual Throwball tourney and the Men’s Kabaddi team that won the Tulu Koota as well as ICC Kabaddi tournament recently too were felicitated. Master Pranav who has excelled in sports and brought laurels too was felicitated and presented with the memento. TKQ General secretary Kiran Anand conducted the felicitation programme while TKQ president Ravi Shetty, former presidents Ramchandra Shetty, Diwakar Poojary, Seetharam Shetty, Prakashchandra Ajila, TKQ sports secretary Asmat Ali presented the mementos to the contributors.
This was followed by gana vaibhava, musical extravaganza by Ajay Warrier, one of the most popular singers from the Kannada film industry. Ajay initially rendered some of the golden hits from Kannada and Hindi movies of yesteryears and then in the second part in the evening belted some of the latest hit dancing numbers that made the audience storm to the floor providing perfect entertainment to the gathering.
Kadekodi comedy team comprising of renowned Tulu actor Navin D Padil, Saikrishna and Vismaya Vinayak of Radio Mirchi fame was the special attraction of evening. The Team KadeKodi comedy was introduced to the gathering by well-known Tulu activist and organizer Mohan Rai Karnoor who was flown in from Mumbai. As expected the rib-tickling and side-splitting comedy by the KadeKodi team sent the audience into peals of laughter.
Sahithya Sambrama-Santhoshodottugu sandeshala, special programme by Vittal Nayak, Suhas and Tejas was another special programme of the evening, It was refreshing, new concept which was the blend of literature and music and presented in a unique style by Vittal Nayak and the team. The programme aimed providing values of life through literature and great response by the audience proved that it was a great success.
Entertainement programme concluded with last part of Ganavaibhava by Ajay Warrier where in he made the whole audience dance to a few all time hit songs.
The Tulu Koota environment campaign team that won first prize Ambassador’s Rolling trophy and a special prize and praise from the Qatari authorities for its environment and green initiatives too was felicitated on the occasion. Chaitali Shetty who coordinated and led the campaign along with Naveen Bannadi were felicitated on the occasion. Harish Kodialbail who designed a beautiful backdrop depicting the Tuluva culture for the programme too was appreciated and felicitated on the occasion.
The crystal jubilee celebrations were conceptualized meticulously and presented professionally. The rare cultural and traditional practices of Tulunadu were in full display, Performance by Melam Qatar, dance by TKQ children, arrival of guests into the auditorium to the sound of cymbals, chande, kombu and accompanied by yakshagana artiste provided Tulunadu-touch to the event.
Bahrain Karnataka Sangha president Rajesh Shetty, former president of Bahrain Karnataka Sangha Austin Santhosh, Nirel Tulu film director Shodhan Prasad, ICC general secretary and past president of Tulu Koota Divakar Poojary, seniormost Tulu Koota founder members Syed Abdul Hye,Community leader and senior Tulu Koota member Milan Arun, KMCA president Niyaz Ahmed, MCC vice-president Prakash Noronha, Karnataka Sangha president Deepak Shetty, Bunts president and Tulu Koota Past President Prakashchandra Ajila , MCC founding member and advisor Gerald D’Mello,MCA advisor Wilfred Fernandes, TKQ former presidents Ramchandra Shetty, Seetharam Shetty, office-bearers and past presidents and committee members from other Karnataka based associations were also present on the occasion.
The programme was compered professionally by Dr Padmashree Shetty. She is certainly one of the most sought-after comperes of Qatar due to her control over Tulu,Kannada and English languages, her special skills in keeping the audience attentive and engrossed throughout the programme. Her special skills were in full display at Permeda Padinain.