Goa March 30, 2008: In a brief function 'CONFERENCE ON INDIAN EXPARTRIATES IN THE GULF COUNTRIES' held at the Convention Hall, Hotel Mandovi, Panaji on 29th March 2008, the NRI Affairs Directorate of Goa Government presented Leadership Awards for community service to well known Goans from the Gulf for recognition of their social activities towards the Indian community.

The honored recipients:

Bahrain: Mr. Francis Correia, Mr. Gabriel R. Crasto, and Mr. Alfred D’Souza.

Kuwait: Dr Jaganath Ramnath Chodankar, Mr Alex Wilson Coelho, and Mr. Carmo Santos

Oman: Dr Mario Carmo de Souza , and Mr Celso Vincent Andre Fernandes

Qatar: Mr Simon D'Silva

UAE: Mr. Ramnath Arjuna Mavlingcar
Dubai: Mr Rockson Rufus Rodrigues

(Delhi): Ms Suman Anand Kurade

The awards were given during the Conference on Indian expatriates in the Gulf countries on March 29 at Hotel Mandovi, Panaji, Goa. The Conference was inaugurated by Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, Shri Vayalar Ravi. The function was presided over by Commissioner of NRI Affairs Shri Eduardo Faleiro while Chief Minister of Goa, Shri Digambar Kamat was the Chief Guest.


Francis Correia, hailing from Cansaulim, a resident of Bahrain since 1974, is employed with Ahmed Mansoor Al A’Ali as Manager of the Real Estate Division. He has been involved in community services from the time he arrived into Bahrain and has served the community in different fields. Correia has provided legal, medical and financial aid to a large number of Goans and members of other expatriate communities. Through the Indian Embassy and Ministry of Labour, he has resolved many disputes of laborers and domestic helpers. He has assisted many with sponsorship problems or to find alternate employment. He has actively participated in events to help the local charities as well.

Correia was honoured by the Ministry of Social Affairs in 1987 for his active participation in organizing festivities of expatriate societies and clubs to celebrate the Bahrain National Day.

He was elected as General Secretary of Young Goans Club, way back in 1979 and served on the Managing committee several times. During his tenure with the club he was able to interact with Goans from other Gulf and European Countries in organizing sports and social events.

Correia is the main person involved in organizing Konkani tiatr events in Bahrain with Goan based and local stage artistes which has helped display Goan culture and heritage in the Gulf and keep Konkani alive and popular. He has also used his status and position to organize visits by political, religious, social leaders from Goa. He is currently the President of Young Goans Club.

Correia is also a coordinator of the Konkani Community of the Sacred Heart Church.


Gabriel R. Crasto made headlines last year when he was awarded the ‘Man of the Year Award’ by the Goan Review Art Foundation, Mumbai for his services linked to the Goan community in Bahrain and the Konkani language. Crasto, a popular Master Compere (MC) among the Goan community in Bahrain is always at the forefront of social, cultural and sporting events. He has utilized these opportunities to showcase Konkani, Goan culture, heritage and identity of Goans in Bahrain.

G.R. Crasto receiving the NRI Leadership Award

“For me, organizing such events is always a dual purpose,” stated Crasto. “It gives an opportunity for the talented members of Goan community based here to display their art and whatever little income is generated from such events is diverted to help the needy.”

In association with other community groups, Crasto has organized functions to felicitate and honor outstanding sportspersons and stage artistes of the Goan origin. He is always at hand to help those in need of his services - either to coordinate with the Indian Embassy or the local Government agencies. A resident of Bahrain for the last 25 years, he is employed with Mohammed Jalal & Sons as Manager in their Travel Division. Being in the travel field, Crasto was influential in obtaining special fares from Air India for Goans during the Exposition of St. Francis Xavier.

A freelance journalist, Crasto hails from Navelim. He covers the activities of Goans in Bahrain through his writings in magazines published from Goa. In his younger days Crasto worked as a correspondent of West Coast Times (English daily), Novem Goem and Goencho Mog, etc.

In December 2007, Crasto was honored by the Young Goans Club for his contribution to community welfare. He has served several terms on the Managing Committee of the Club in different positions in the past. He is the Chairman of Bahrain Goans Football League and a member of the Konkani Community Committee of the Sacred heart Church.


Since coming to Bahrain over 20 years ago, Alfredo D’Souza, has always volunteered his time and services for the poor of the community. He is also a founder member of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights Migrant Worker's Group since 2002. Alfredo has been on the Legal Aid Cell of the Indian Community Services which comes under the auspices of the Indian Embassy. Alfredo works very closely with the Indian Embassy in Bahrain to help 'Laborers and Domestic Workers'. He is also a life member of the Royal Society of St George Charity organization.

Alfredo has been instrumental in starting the first ever 'Shelter for abused domestic helpers' and for well over 10 years has been defending the 'Human Rights' of the poor laborers and domestic helpers who have been abused by their employers and are helpless, even before the formation of the first Migrant Worker's Group in Bahrain.

Alfredo D’Souza is founder member and currently the Vice Chairman of the Migrant Workers Protection Society.

Carmo Santos

Carmo was born in Goa in the year 1957 to Army General (Late) Armando Viegas Dos Santos and Luiza Bertalina Fernandes. After completing his education in Goa / Mumbai he landed in Kuwait in 1979 and joined one of the reputed companies M/s. Mohammed Abdulrahman Al-Bahar and is now having his own business.

Carmo is compassionate and always aimed to help and assist the poor and the needy in Kuwait over the past two and half decades. He always confronts every type of exploitation, especially labour and community related ones without discrimination of gender, race, religion and nationality. Numerous cases of passengers’ injustices, liaison with local sponsors of Goan maids, houseboys and drivers as well as on behalf of those working in offices and resolving disputes and safe return of many Goans using his established contacts and operatives.

His support and monetary assistance towards Goan causes have been focused by the church authorities as well as Indian embassy officials and diplomatic corps, NGOs in Kuwait and Indian organizations – both prior to invasion as well as post-invasion period. Scores of Goans have secured their jobs and positions for his timely and untiring efforts following the invasion of Kuwait. His personal efforts and intervention in convincing local employees to reinstate and organize their visas and travel arrangements soon after liberation when Goans in large numbers approached him.

In 2004, Carmo Santos was unanimously elected as president of the Goan apex organization, Goan Welfare Society and successfully organized the Goa Day 2004 and a record of 4000 plus Goans attended.He contributed to several awards being instituted in support of young Goan students in Kuwait, and has always supported Goan small businesses including florists, travel agencies, Konkani writers and authors in Goa and in Kuwait, Goan websites and Goan organisations’ souvenirs.

He is a very good linguist and expresses deep love for his mother-tongue Konkani. A regular and an active member of the Goan community and a generous one both in good and bad times. At present he is the chairman of Goan Cultural Centre-Kuwait.


Born in the village of Sao Jose de Areal, Salcette – Goa. Married to Nancy and blessed with two sons, Sanlorf and Snasloy. First landed in the State of Qatar in 1993 and since marriage living with the family in Qatar.

Graduated in Commerce from the Goa University in the year 1991. (B. Com Graduate)
Currently working for a Norwegian firm Yara International / Norsk Hydro.

Curricular Activities in Goa:

President of Sao Jose de Areal JAYCEES in the year 1991 holding with various positions earlier in Socio-Cultural activities. Conducted different training courses for the members under the guidance and leadership of National and State Trainers, like Human Relation, Time Management, Chairmanship And Parliamentary Procedures, New Member Projects, Successful Executives, Chapter Management, Fund Raising Guide, Project Planning, etc. Conducted medical camps ward wise in the entire village, distribution of coconut and other saplings to the villagers via Goa Governments Rural Development Schemes (RDA), etc. Very much involved and active in Church activities including fund raising events.

Curricular Activities Overseas:

President of Goan Welfare Association, Doha – Qatar for the last 8 years. Organising Socio-Cultural and Sports activities on regular basis. Extending financial help to the needy and charitable institutions and disasters like Gujarat Earthquake Victims Relief, Prime Minister’s Relief Fund, Child, Relief and You (CRY), Girl Child Orphans, Lar de Sta Terezinha, Caritas-Goa, Orphan Children suffering from HIV.

Provide social help and assistance to the community members in Qatar. Supported fund raising activities for different parishes from Goa in the State of Qatar while respective priests were on fund raising visit to Qatar. Provided financial support to the individuals in Goa and Mangalore. Working on to pursue the direct flight issue for the NRI Goans in the State of Qatar.

The Goan Welfare Association is an official body affiliated to Indian Cultural Centre under the aegies of Embassy of India, Qatar. It is a non-profitable organisation of Goan expats in Qatar.

Has been a member of Parish Council in Doha.

Interacting and meeting with people, music, dancing, swimming, acting, etc. (Also featured in a Hindi Movie “Kabhi Ha Khabi Na” as a side dancer with Shahrukh Khan, Deepak Tijori and Suchitra).

Dr. Jaganath R. Chodankar

Born on August 18th 1970 to Mr. Ramnath and Mrs. Sharmila Chodankar, in the State of Kuwait to a Goan family who shared their roots in Parra and Moira respectively in Bardez Taluka, Jaganath was raised in Kuwait till his High school. After school completion, he pursued his Medical Career in J.N. Medical College, Belgaum, Karnataka, till Master’s degree in Urology. In 2001, he came to Kuwait and have been working here since.

During his tenure in Belgaum, Dr. Jaganath was bestowed upon the responsibility to look after many Goan patients who came to the K.L.E.S. Hospital and Medical research Centre, for specialized surgical operations. This is when he had his first interaction with our fellow Goans on a personal level which was a tremendous boost to his relations with his roots. Although it was a tedious task, it was indeed rewarding in the form of warm wishes and blessings, which Dr. Jaganath always desired for, but unfortunately short lived for two years only as he had to proceed to Kuwait for his next assignment.

Once again back in Kuwait, Dr. Jaganath ventured out for various opportunities to serving Goans in the most humane way and ultimately joined the NRI CLUB 9 in the year 2004. CLUB 9, by then was an established organization - one amongst the many Goan associations which purely served charitable causes only with no vested interests whatsoever. Here he discovered a wonderful and dedicated team with great team spirit, where each and every member treated the organization like its own baby. Eventually Dr. Jaganath was designated as its President in the year 2006 as per the request of the Club members. "We, as in CLUB 9, have had till date, conducted five annual Goan shows with two mid year Goan Food Festivals and have managed to collect sufficient funds, all of which we use to support Daddy’s Home, a home for the mentally and physically handicapped children based in Gogol, Margao, Goa, which is looked after by Fr. Valmiki Dias", Dr. Jaganath proudly mentions. "Till date, we are proud to say we have 88 children under the roof of Daddy’s Home who are well looked after in the most special way just because these children are very special", he remarked.

Here in Kuwait, Dr. Jaganath also happened to be one of the founder members of the Indian Doctors Forum (IDF), which is an organization of 500 Indian doctors working in Kuwait. IDF have successfully conducted more than 15 free health check up camps for various sections of the Indian community with the target patient population mainly being the low socio-economic group of the Indian Community.

"All said and done, there is no turning back and now we are in the process of setting up a Medical Tourism company in Kuwait . Through this we wish to route patients from Kuwait to India seeking medical treatment with the prime intention of supporting and helping the deprived and financially burdened Goan population. Hoping and praying for a successful outcome of the same", Dr. Jaganath confides to this writer.

Awards and Honors

· First rank to the Dharwad University in the final year of M.B.B.S. Examinations held in 1994 at Jawahar Lal Nehru Medical College , Belgaum , Karnataka , India .
· Best outgoing student of J.N. Medical College for the year 1994.
· Awarded the title of Mr. JNMC in the year 1993.
· American Medical Association Physician’s Recognition Award January 2003,
Camp Doha , Kuwait

Leading Posts Held :
· Organizing Secretary of Workshop “Ultrasound guided Urological Procedures “held at K.L.E.S. Hospital & Medical Research Centre, Belgaum , Karnataka , India in February 2000.
· Organizing Secretary of Karnataka Urology Association Conference (K.U.A.C.O.N.) held in 1998, conducted by the Department of Urology, K.L.E.S. Hospital & Medical Research Centre, Belgaum , Karnataka , India in October 1998.
· Organizing Secretary of Continued Medical Education (C.M.E.) and Post-Graduate course conducted by the department of Surgery, J.N. Medical College , Belgaum , Karnataka , India in January 1998
· Cultural Secretary at the J.N. Medical College, Belgaum during the year 1994-1995
· Website Administrator for the Indian Doctors Forum (IDF), Kuwait form the period 2004 – 2006, during which it was officially launched.
· President of CLUB 9 (Care & Love for Underprivileged Born) from July 2006 onwards.

Social & Community Welfare Activities
· Participating Surgeon in the Free Medical Consulting Camp held on 18th October 2002 at the Gulf Indian School , Fahaheel , Kuwait , organized by the Islam Presentation Committee.
· Delivered a lecture on “SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES” to the teenagers participating at the Summer Camp conducted by the Holy Chapel, Salmiya , Kuwait in July 2004.
· Free Surgical services rendered at the Medical Camp held on 8th October 2004 at the Indian Central School in association with the Kuwait Heart Foundation and Muslim Education Society, Kuwait .
· Lecture presentation with interactive session on Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (C.P.R.) to the participating teenagers at the Summer Camp conducted by the Holy Chapel, Salmiya , Kuwait in July 2005.
· Participated in the Medical Screening and Consultation Camp held on 15th December 2006 at the Indian International School in organized by the SHANTHI Association.
· Participating Surgeon in the Free Medical Consulting Camp held on 24th March 2006 at the Carmel School , Fahaheel , Kuwait , organized by the Telugu Kala Samithi, Kuwait .

· Member of the Kuwait Medical Association (K.M.A.) since 2001.
· Member of the Kuwait Urology Association (K.U.A.) since 2003.

ABOUT CLUB 9 - A small brief :

The word CLUB is an abbreviation which stands for Care and Love for Underprivileged Born and was created on the 17th of January 2003, when nine like minded people got together and decided to use their leisure time for something constructive and charitable. They went on and identified Daddy’s home, which was already an established institute formed in 1989 and looked after 50 mentally and physically challenged children like Down’s syndrome, Autism, Cerebral Palsy etc in a very special and caring way, though painstakingly difficult, however deeply rewarding. Having identified Daddy’s Home they decided to adopt it and support it in every possible way towards its progress and development.

Since then, there has been no stopping. Club 9 have successfully conducted four annual functions which go by the popular title of Goan Heritage Nite and two Goan food festivals till date, through which they have managed to raise sufficient funds to last at least half a decade. In fact, CLUB 9 takes pride in saying that TODAY Daddy’s Home is a place for 88 children with newer facilities introduced like in house dormitory, computers, physiotherapy, speech therapists etc with the ultimate aim of making these children into independent adults who can perform their day to day routines freely without any assistance and thus enjoy the beauty of this world as well as survive the difficult part of this world. CLUB 9 has come a long way in promoting care and love for the underprivileged and stands as a testimony for people who believe good thoughts when converted to deeds yields a much greater pleasure and satisfaction to one’s heart.


Supposed to be one of the most prestigious awards given to Goan NRIs, reading views on the net about the credibility of the winners is a bit baffling. It’s always a shame when a prize becomes a popularity contest.

Just because one is unaware of or do not like the contributions of certain people does not mean that they have not done ‘outstanding’ things.

It should be comparatively unimportant who agrees and who does not that the recipient is the best; but the aim should be that most people accept him/her as a good, inspiring model. To better know the awardees I have uploaded photos of all the winners with a brief profile. They do fully seem deserving of the recognition on paper – but ofcourse different individuals in the rest of the countries have a different view.

Many of us could be wrong in judging, as the saying goes: A prophet is not recognized in his own land. This can be true of Kuwait as well, for, none have openly hailed the winners from Kuwait. Or, is it alright for us to applaud when someone wins an award which they themselves claim not to have been invented?

One of the theories of the Community Service Leadership Awards (as it looks) is that these awards generate publicity about merit. This insight will help to boost the winners to do something extraordinary in future than what they have done so far for in their community. But certainly, if there are no suitable nominations, it is better not to give any award at all than to give it to undeserving people. The prize will become more relevant if the prize committee changes its ‘suspected’ prejudiced behavior.

Once again, those who comment on the net (the Goa Net in general, of which I count myself a member) put their myopia, narrow-mindedness, bitterness and irrelevancy on open display. No need to even reference previous posts; just read back and praise the ones who have been lucky enough to have been awarded.

You could argue in the same way that the Nobel Prize in economics is sometimes won by non-economics people..!

"Give every man your ear, but few your voice; Take each man's censure, but reserve your judgement."-shakespeare in Hamlet Act I. Sc.3

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