Mangaluru: It was in the year 1998 that Catholic businessmen, agriculturists and professionals formed Rachana, with the objective of encouraging youth to take up entrepreneurship, training them in investment and supporting them with technical backup. In the last 25 years, Rachana has worked to achieve its goals and has trained youth through Rachana Entrepreneur Development Cell.
Rachana has recognised the successful entrepreneurs, professionals, agriculturists, NRI entrepreneurs and women who have achieved in their distinctive field and brought them into the limelight, more so that their example may be emulated by the young and the upcoming. Rachana takes pride in announcing the names of awardees for the year 2023.
The names of Rachana awardees are Agriculturist, Leo Fernandes, Entrepreneur, Jerry Vincent Dias, Professional Sr Dr Gladys Menezes, NRI Entrepreneur Michael D’Souza and Outstanding Woman Dr Laveena M. Noronha.
The award ceremony will be held on Sunday, January 15 at 6 pm at Milagres Auditorium, Mangaluru. The function will be presided over by Rt. Rev. Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, Bishop of Mangalore. Sanjay D’Souza, Sr. Executive Vice-President of HDFC Bank will be the Chief Guest.
Vincent Cutinha, President, CA Rudolph Rodrigues, Convener Lavina Monteiro, Secretary Eulalia Maria D’Souza, Treasurer and Louis J. Pinto, Organiser were present on the occasion.
Agriculturist of the year: Leo Fernandes, Allipade
Leo Fernandes is a farmer with a difference having focused on multiple yields like areca, pepper, coconuts, and dairy farming. The cultivation is spread across 20 acres of land comprising 15000 arecas, and 1000 coconut trees, and yields about 350 quintal areca, and about 25000 coconuts. He supports local farmers with his outlet Antony Traders, which purchases their areca yields for the best rate in the market. He has about 100 cows ranging in gyr jersey, and Holstein Friesian cattle breeds. He supplies about 600 litres of milk daily to society and he is the top supplier of milk to Sarapady and Allipade societies during 2021 -22. With his catering wing Fernandes Caterers, he undertakes catering for a crowd of 1000 people, and with all his farming, dairy, and catering enterprise he has been proving a livelihood for hundreds of families in the area.
Entrepreneur of the year: Dr Jerry Vincent Dias, Udupi
Dr Jerry Vincent Dias, Chairman and Managing Director of Mandavi Real Estate Developers is the estate tycoon of Udupi – Manipal for the last three decades.
Presently he is the President of CREDAI, Udupi Chapter. So far he has developed 4000 residential and 250 commercial units in 50 projects. He has built Mandavi Times Square, the first biggest Mall in the Udupi district housing a star-category luxurious hotel. His architectural marvel in Manipal – Mandavi Royal Prince, was awarded as Best Residential Building from Credai Care Awards. Apart from Real estate, he is the promoter and owner of J J Industries which produces solid blocks. He has produced two Kannada feature films, ‘Mahanadhi’ and ‘DK’ under his production house J J Cine Productions. He is the promoter and owner of Hotel Sarah International, Manipal. He is actively involved in social work through the Lions Club and other social service organizations and recipient of many awards for his humane work. While Adamar Mutt awarded him with Kala Poshak Award, the Lions club bestowed on him the Vishwa Bandhu title. Billawara Sangha, Bahrain awarded him Best Business Award and the National institute for social and Economic Reforms® Bengaluru honoured him with National Samaj Ratna Award. He is awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters from the Academy of Universal Global Peace.
Professional of the year: Sr Dr Gladys Menezes, Belman
Gynaecologist by profession Rev Sr Dr Gladys Menezes originally hails from Belman, presently serving in Snehalaya Hospital, Solur, Ramnagar. She completed her MBBS and DGO from reputed St John's Medical College and Hospital, Bangalore, and since then serving the underprivileged and marginal sections of society in remote rural villages of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. She has a record of 30 years of unflinching service in rural areas. She served backward tribals of Lambanis, golla, Gowrie, Tibetans, and Siddhis. On average, she treats 150 patients a day and conducts 80 deliveries a week. Apart from serving in rural areas she spread awareness among rural women about their health and trained around 300 women as dadi who can work as village birth attendants. She has trained more than 200 community health workers who are earning a decent livelihood now in the profession. Considering her yeoman service, especially in the rural areas as a specialist, Ahind Association honoured her with Karnataka Ratna and District Farmers Association honoured her with Samaja Seva Rathna. She has been bestowed with the C V Raman award on Doctors Day.
NRI of the year: Michael D’ Souza, Puttur – Abudhabi
Born to an entrepreneurial family in Puttur Michael D Souza started his journey through Souza Metal Mart in Puttur. He expanded his base to Mangalore with Souza Electronics finally shifting to Dubai. Presently he is in the hotel apartments business under the brand name Dunes and Ivory Grand in Dubai. His Flagship Company HAS Hospitality is providing employment and livelihood to many families. Through the EDUCARE programme under the auspices of CODP, Dioceses of Mangalore he is helping the higher education of the students. He has established a fund of Rs. 25 crores exclusively for this purpose. So far 3500 students benefited from this programme. He has also established a separate fund of Rs. 10 crores which is helping marginalized sections of society with self-help groups and so far 10,000 families benefited from this programme. To encourage youth to take up civil service as a career he has initiated setting up Civil Service Academy at St Aloysius College Mangalore where students are trained for competitive and civil service exams. He is referred to as a cheerful donor among the Mangaloreans. Apart from donating to the housing and medical needs of individuals, he has helped to upgrade healthcare facilities in existing hospitals, and special schools and donated generously to the churches of Mangalore and Udupi dioceses. He is also extending financial support to self-employment projects and supporting Konkani literature and cultural activities in India and Dubai. Presently he is living in Abudhabi with his family.
Women Achiever of the year: Dr Lavina M Noronha
With MSW and PhD degrees from the reputed NIMHANS, Bangalore, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, Dr Lavina M Noronha is the Director of the 15-bed hospice facility Ave Maria Palliative Care at Mangalore with utmost professionalism and dedication. Dr Noronha has vast experience teaching at foreign universities and several years of clinical practice in the fields of mental health, crisis respite, employee assistance, and hospice in the USA. She also has several professional publications and presentations on a variety of topics to her credit and is the founder and president of CREST International Inc, USA, and a member of the Indian Association of Palliative Care. Dr Lavina’s dream project, Ave Maria palliative care has patients suffering from cancer, liver diseases, renal failures, and dementia, who need holistic comfort and care. The home is free and anyone is welcome, regardless of religion, class, and cast.