Abu Dhabi: Successful Mangalurean entrepreneur, philanthropist and community leader Leo Rodrigues was elected president of the Konkani Cultural Organization (KCO) during their annual general body meeting, which was held at the Cristal Hotel, Abu Dhabi on January 18. Sandhya Vas was elected general secretary for the second consecutive year and senior member Frankline D’Cunha was elected treasurer of the premier Konkani Organization.
All the office bearers were elected through a secret ballot. KCO Abu Dhabi is the brain-child of Leo Rodrigues and he is also the founder-president of the Organization, which came into existence on February 13, 1995.
Leo Rodrigues is well known for his philanthropic works in the UAE as well as back home and is a strong Mangalurean Konkani community leader and supporter. He has successfully been running his business, Al Mazroui & Clevy Auto Services L.L.C in Abu Dhabi for the past three and a half decades. Being a Mangalurean, he has encouraged and supported various organizations, NGOs and other brethren, irrespective of caste, creed, language or religion. With Leo at the helm of affairs, KCO is sure to reach new heights during its silver jubilee year.
Sandhya Vas is a trained physiotherapist and has been working at the Corniche Hospital, Abu Dhabi for over 12 years. She has been in the UAE for the past 17 years and hails from the Angelore parish in Mangaluru and is a resident of Kinnigoli. An excellent sportsperson, she has led the KCO throwball team as captain a couple of times. She has also previously worked as the sports secretary of the KCO, assistant general secretary and general secretary in the previous years.
Frankline D’Cunha, who hails from the Bajpe parish in Mangaluru and a resident of Abu Dhabi for the past 39 years, has led the KCO’s various co-committees. He has also served as treasurer of the organization in the past. He was the Scholarship and Medical Aid Disbursement Committee coordinator in the preceding year and was in charge of all the disbursements undertaken by the KCO Trust ® Mangalore, in the year 2019-20.
The other nominated committee members selected by the elected members are Vice President - CA Valerian Dalmaida, Asst. General Secretary - Claudia Lydia Lobo, Entertainment Secretary - Bennett D'Mello, Asst. Entertainment Secretary - Vivek Serrao, Sports Secretary - Sabastian Pais, Media Coordinator - Valerian Fernandes, Auditor - Sunil Pinto, Scholarship and Medical Aid Disbursement Coordinator - Amitha Costa, Silver Jubilee Committee Convener - Dolphy Vaz, Event Coordinator in Mangaluru - Gerald D'Mello, Asst. Coordinator - Melville Pinto.
The Advisory Committee members are Michael D'Silva, Leena Dsouza and Richard Castelino.
The KCO has been growing in popularity over the years and has become a household name not only in Abu Dhabi but in the entire UAE. For the past 24 years, the KCO has been involved in various social, cultural and religious activities in Abu Dhabi.
During the AGM, the outgoing president, CA Valerian Dalmaida expressed his gratitude to all the office bearers and committee members for their tremendous support during his tenure. Newly elected president Leo Rodrigues also thanked everyone for reposing faith in him and electing him as the president of KCO for the silver jubilee year. He promised that, with the support of all the members, the KCO will hold many activities in the jubilee year 2020 with two mega-events being planned- one in Abu Dhabi and one in Mangaluru.
Konkani Cultural Organization (KCO) is well known in the UAE, GCC and in India for its service towards the needy and deserving students. It has initiated several scholarships through Samanvaya of Mangaluru and has also been helping scores of people suffering from critical illnesses. The KCO has been recognizing and supporting many NGOs back home that work with distressed, downtrodden and the needy in the UAE and in and around the Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts.
White Doves, Snehasadan, Jeevadhaan, Samanvaya, Saanidhya - Ganesh Seva Trust, Shanti Kiran Technical and Sneha Charitable Trust are a few NGOs through which the KCO has provided socio-medical help to the needy in the past. The Organisation has also continuously been sponsoring community marriages of the underprivileged for the past few years.
With the support from sponsors and benefactors, the KCO has managed to carry out their noble mission within the UAE and India. It has also transformed itself as a mirror reflecting the culture and tradition and upholding the values of the ancestors and has turned out to be a focal point for the Konkani community in Abu Dhabi.
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