Amazing stories of three amazing women from Karnataka!

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Amazing stories of three amazing women from Karnataka!

Amazing stories of three amazing women from Karnataka!

Team NK   ¦    Feb 26, 2021 08:05:23 AM (IST)

Amazing stories of three amazing women from Karnataka!-1, the favoured news portal of Kannadigas the world over, has been introducing persons with an amazing record of service to society, from the land of Karnataka and beyond, to the world via its OTT platform on and The program, ‘Amazing People’ has already completed 15 episodes and is growing in popularity. To commemorate the upcoming Women’s day on 8th March, a special episode for women was broadcast live on its YouTube Channel on 19/02/2021.

“Amazing people” Women special edition had Cynthia Fernandes, Social Entrepreneur, Belagavi, Dr. Lavina Noronha, Social Worker, Mangaluru, and Cynthia Goveas, Social Worker, UAE as guests. CA Valerian Dalmaida, Mentor, Spearhead Media Group, hosted the talk show. Rajesh Sequeira co-hosted.

“Struggle in my life taught me lessons and moved me to do social service,” said Cynthia Fernandes of project Dupti in Belagavi

Cynthia has always been a quiet Samaritan who takes up causes and initiatives which would look challenging for anyone but not for this woman. Cynthia has lived in the Middle East for most of her life, wherein she has helped a lot of people get jobs through her job posts, women networking events, and many more. When she moved back home to India, she saw the challenges faced by the low-income and underprivileged women in her neighbouring villages.

She recalls her early days in Dubai and her struggle. She came to Dubai in the year 1993 and had to overcome a lot of challenges before she was self-sufficient. She even struggled to make ends meet and have 3 square meals a day, due to a lack of sustainable employment This struggle was always at the back of her mind.  

An idle mind is the devil's workshop. Very true, After the return from Dubai, Cynthia says “I could not sit idle”. “I was always pushing myself to do something”. She saw ladies working in fields in the hot sun and struggling to make both ends meet with their meager wages. “This prompted me to launch project Dupti in the year 2015.”

Duptis are made from pieces of leftover cloth after the desired attire is stitched by tailors and garment factories. Under project Dupti, these pieces of cloths are woven to make Pillow covers, Table runners, etc., The project Dupti started with one lady and one sewing machine and it has now gone on to become a cottage Industry. The ladies who work on this project are from poor backgrounds. Every Monday is Market day and the day they get their weekly Salary. They use the money to take care of the daily needs of the family and also children's education. “We prepare Christmas quilts, Birthday gifts, customize them as per the requirements and dispatch them to the customers through courier services”, she said.

Amazing stories of three amazing women from Karnataka!-2

Going on to describe her other social service activity, Goveas says, “We also do lots of other social service which includes collection of used clothes and distributing them among poor people and the distribution of Sanitary Napkins in Schools. A lack of education and awareness among ladies and girls in rural areas is quite common. As such, they face many problems including health issues. Realizing the problems of the girl child, we started distributing sanitary napkins in Schools. Despite the stigma in rural areas,  we go to each Govt School every month and distribute over 1000 sanitary napkins. In the Initial stages we had to face lots of resistance but now more awareness has been created.”

A commendable effort indeed to uplift and empower women.

“Call came from somewhere for me during my pilgrimage,” says Dr. Lavina Noronha, founder of  Ave Maria Palliative Care.

Dr. Lavina Noronha, before moving to the United States to pursue her Ph.D on a scholarship did her  Masters in Social work [MSW] from the School of Social work Roshni Nilaya and  M.Phil in Psychiatric Social work from  NIMHANS Bengaluru.

After completing her Ph.D. in the year 1998 Lavina moved to Texas and joined Our Lady of the Lake University, as an Asst. Professor. During weekends where she worked as a Volunteer at VITAS Innovative Hospice.  “Accompanying end-stage patients, being with them and preparing their final journey, and extending support to their family members was my job. This weekend job involved preparing people for a peaceful death. It fascinated me. Even though the University was paying the bills, my weekend job was giving me more personal satisfaction.”

Then when Lavina came back to India on leave, she realized that people hadn’t heard of such hospice care. “When I realized that people had not heard of such hospice care, I decided that we must make a beginning, and Ave Maria Palliative Care was born.”

The land for the project was provided by the Center for Development studies and education, which allowed us to function independently under the banner of the trust. “During these 12 years of our journey, we have so far served over 800 patients irrespective of their faiths, we have a 15-bed hospital with Doctors, Nurses, Social Workers, and supporting staff who serve the patients in their final journey. We do not extend or cut their life. We only facilitate a dignified and peaceful death.  We get more than what we need. Donations from philanthropists are always forthcoming. She summed up quoting Mother Teresa “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love”

Dr. Lavina Noronha was nominated for the ‘Outstanding Community Leaders of Mangaluru - 2019’ Award by the International Institute for Public Policy (IIPP), an international organization based in Mangaluru for the cause of policy implementation for the public good.

 “I love doing Volunteer work anywhere,” says Cynthia Goveas

"I came to Sharjah in the year 1989. Struggled to find a job and after a desperate search, I got into a small job with a very low Salary. However, with God's grace I then got into a good job. I, who had been searching high and low for a job earlier, was given the responsibility of recruiting employees for the organization! The Management reposed faith in me, and I was overwhelmed!”

While performing her role for her company, Cynthia came across thousands of resumes of people who were frantically looking for a job. “In addition to recruiting people for our organization, I circulated their resumes to other organizations who were in my contacts and facilitated their placements. So far I have helped around 70 persons to get job placements in Gulf.”

Cynthia also works as a Coordinator for the Konkani community. “We provide many services to needy people like financial support, Medical assistance, Counselling etc. As a volunteer, I get calls from the consulate to accompany visiting dignitaries. We have a team of 250 ladies as Volunteers and we extend the Voluntary service at all events. With my contacts with the consulate, I could help more than 200 Indians to go back to India during the pandemic."

Truly the good Samaritans, three of them and they had words of appreciation for This is media with difference, that has compassion for people and work as a change agent rather than a mere rapporteur, they said. 

Watch the full conversation here….

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