Mangaluru: It was a thought-provoking symposium and book release event titled “Legacy of The Legend – Dr Olinda Pereira,” at Roshni Nilaya‘s Maria Paiva Hall on May 31, 2023, also Dr Pereira’s Death Anniversary. Renowned academician Dr Vijayakumar, Vice Chancellor of Yenepoya University, during his address on education and development, the subject of the symposium, emphasized the significance of education beyond academic achievements.
Drawing attention to the role of emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills, he stressed that success is not solely determined by one’s IQ, but also by how individuals interact with others. He remarked, “The idea of education goes beyond outperforming others academically. True fulfilment is achieved when we learn to graciously congratulate the winner, even in our own defeat, as that is the essence of life.”
Emphasizing the relationship between education and personal development, Dr Vijayakumar expressed, “Mere theoretical knowledge falls short in equipping individuals for success in life. A comprehensive education that combines academic learning with self-improvement is the key to overcoming the challenges of the world. However, contemporary education often fails to fulfil its intended purpose. We must broaden our horizons and prepare ourselves beyond the confines of formal education to meet the demands of the industry.”
Before his address, Dr Vijayakumar unveiled the book ‘Legacy of a Legend – Dr Olinda Pereira,’ which highlights her life as it was made fruitful in service. She also ensured that her life was a vehicle for the development of Social Work Education and Practice when there was none. The Book was conceived and edited by Brian Fernandes, SN Gopinath, and Juliet CJ and has several contributors who were directly or indirectly impacted by Dr Pereira. It is an experiential outlook of her life and contributions that serves both as a tribute and a reference for Social Work practitioners and Educators.
The Book has been sponsored by the Centre for Leadership and Social Development, Bengaluru, an NGO, set up by S.N. Gopinath, Bhima Rao, Ravichandra Bekal, all Alumni of the School of Social Work, Roshni Nilaya to further Dr Pereira’s mission in life.
Delivering the keynote address, Dr Cedric Prakash SJ, a human rights activist and nephew of Dr Pereira, drew parallels between her life and those of historic social reformers in India. “Dr Pereira possessed a multifaceted personality and pursued a holistic approach with an inclusive ideology,” remarked Dr Prakash, a recipient of numerous national and international awards. “She dedicated herself to equality, fraternity, and liberty, always demonstrating the right attitude, articulation, and action.”
The event featured a presidential address by Philomina D’Sa, Provincial of the Daughters of the Heart of Mary, the congregation that established and manages Roshni Nilaya; She highlighted the amalgamation of education, development, transformation, and inclusiveness in Dr Olinda Pereira’s life. D’Sa emphasized Dr Pereira’s unique ability to connect with the less privileged and her unwavering commitment to service.
In conclusion, D’Sa urged attendees to follow in Dr Pereira’s footsteps, disregarding individual differences and coming together to make a meaningful impact in the lives of those striving for a better future.
The event also saw the presence of esteemed guests such as Prof. Vida Sequeira, President of the Institute of Social Service, Dr Sophia N Fernandes, Principal of the School of Social Work, Mangalore, S.N. Gopinath, Bhima Rao, Ravichandra Bekal, Founder Trustees of the Centre for Leadership and Social Development, Bengaluru, and Dr Malini Hebbar, President of Roshni Alumni Association Mangaluru, Alumni and students of the institute, and other eminent personalities from around the city.
The program was skillfully hosted by Vinitha Maria Pereira, and the students of Roshni Nilaya captivated the audience with a thematic dance portraying the life and mission of Dr Olinda Pereira, offering a poignant tribute to her legacy