Doha: The annual day celebration of Tulu Koota Qatar held on Friday was a grand success.
The Chief Guest of the evening was P Kumaran, Indian Ambassador to Qatar, and Guests Of Honor Dr.HS Ballal and first female president of ICC, Milan Arun, Tulunaada Bolpu awardees Hajjabba Harekala, Sunil D'Souza and Krishna Kumar Punja.
Milan Arun, president of Indian Cultural Centre (ICC), Qatar, was felicitated on the occasion by Tulu Koota for being the first female among the Gulf countries to take the above position.
In her address, Milan thanked Tulu Koota and Karnataka associations for providing her the platform by recognising her talent and appreciated Tulu Koota unity and its support to the ICC in all possible ways.
Dr H S Ballal, the current the Pro-Chancellor of Manipal University, was felicitated by the President and MC Members. President of other Karnataka associations later presented a joint memento to Dr. Ballal.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Ballal was full of praise for Tulu Koota. He also appreciated Koota's noble idea of inviting three selfless social workers and honoring them with Tulunaada Bolpu award.
Dr.R.Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank, recently conferred with the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, constituted by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, Government of India, was honored by Tulu Koota.
P Kumaran lauded Tulu Koota Qatar for its support to all the three apex bodies and also lauded the idea of honouring three social workers from different communities.
Later, Tulunadu Bolpu award was conferred on Harekala Hajabba, Krishna Kumar Punja and Sunil D'Souza.
Harekala Hajabba known as AKSHARA SANTA (Saint of Letters) is an orange vendor in the city of Mangaluru and a well-known social reformer. Despite being uneducated, Hajabba fought tirelessly to build a government school in his native Newpadpu in Harekala by pooling money he earned and by seeking donors help. The British Broadcasting Corporation published an article on him with the title "Unlettered fruit-seller's Indian Education Dream" in November, 2012. He is the winner of 'Real Heroes' award by CNN IBN and Reliance Foundation.
Acknowledging the award, Harekala Hajabba thanked the president and Koota for recognising and inviting a poor man like him.
Krishna Kumar Punja
Krishna Kumar Punja has been in the forefront of social service activities and social awareness campaigns for years. From organizing blood donation, health awareness camps to free medical check-ups, eye-testing camps, he has contributed towards the social wellbeing. He has also contributed towards more than 400 health check-up camps. He has significantly supported the younger generation specifically by providing financial aid to engineering and other students. His service has been recognized and he has been conferred with many prestigious awards and recognitions.
Speaking on the occasion, Punja said social work was in his blood and he would continue to do the same after retirement. He thanked Koota for recognising his contribution to the society.
Vishwasada Mane, the name in itself infuses faith among the homeless and those in need of care and Sunil D'Souza is the person and inspiration behind this. The care centre at Shankerpura near Udupi has been panacea for many in need of helping hand, especially for the mentally challenged. The centre is popularly known for providing shelter to many homeless psychiatric patients who wander on the streets.
Sunil D'souza thanked Tulu Koota Qatar for the award.
Later, 'May 22', a Tulu play directed by Prasanna Shetty was staged followed by other entertainment programmes.