Mangaluru: Five Mangaloreans from different walks of life who have worked for the upliftment of society in various ways - Jeeth Milan Roche (Environmentalist); Ullal Padmanabha Shetty (Social worker/Civic Activist); Ajoy D'Silva (RTI Activist); Nigel Albuquerque (Social/Civic Activist); and Alfie D'sSouza (Journalist) were conferred with 'Eminent Nagarika Awards' by the Bharatiya Nagarika Samithi and Bengaluru Nagarika Samithi at Hotel Woodlands, Mangaluru on Saturday, 12 September 2020.
The Award ceremony began with a brief welcome by Pradeep Mendonca, the Founder of Bharatiya Nagarika Samithi and Bengaluru Nagarika Samithi. This was followed by the National Anthem sung by Miss Adlin D’Silva and Miss Alina D’Silva daughters of Ajoy D'Silva, RTI Activist, and one of the Awardees. Pradeep Mendonca then again took the stage to introduce the concept and objectives of the Bharatiya Nagarika Samithi and Bengaluru Nagarika Samithi following which the awards were conferred.
Here is a brief glimpse of the awardees
Jeeth Milan Roche (Environmentalist)
Jeeth Milan Roche, a member of MCC (Mangalore City Corporation) Civic Group, known popularly as "Environment Warrior", has received several awards from State and the Central government for his environmental activism. He has conferred with the eminent Nagarika Award for his leadership and community services, which include planting trees in Catholic cemeteries and Hindu Crematoriums in Mangaluru, on barren government lands, alongside city roads and national and state Highways, on Railway lands, in school and college premises. He also takes up awareness programs educating students and attempts to imbibe in students the habit of protection of Environment by planting trees and organic farming. He is also coming up with projects in Rainwater Harvesting, Water Treatment, and Waste Management.
Ajoy D'Silva (RTI Activist)
Ajoy D’Silva Co-Founder, MCC Civic Group is an RTI activist. A multi-faceted personality, he has tremendous knowledge of civil works and has been examining closely all the civil works undertaken by the MCC, cross-checking documentation and contracts with the execution on the ground. through the instrumentality of the RTI but has found it a painstaking process. He continues to address the several multiple civic problems citizens face across Mangaluru but has found that it is mostly inquiry after the fact that goes nowhere.
He then found what he says is a permanent solution to these civic lacunae in the institutionalization of citizen participation in governance via Ward Committees and Area Sabhas in the true spirit of the 74th Constitutional Amendment of 1992, supplemented by the Karnataka Municipal Corporations (Amendment) Act of 2011. But the Civic authorities procrastinated on implementing these provisions, despite the available legal framework and the MCC Civic group led by Ajoy D'Silva then had to approach the High Court of Karnataka for its implementation. They were successful, and the Judicial order is now awaiting compliance. This will herald a new approach to spending of public money that will be more accountable and transparent.
Ullal Padmanabha Shetty (Social Worker and Civic Activist)
Ullal Padmanabha Shetty, an active member of the MCC Civic Group, is a retired AEE from Mangaluru City Corporation. Having pursued the implementation of the concept of Ward Committees and Area Sabhas in Mangaluru City Corporation amid wafer-thin support extended to him right from the time the 74th constitutional Amendment took effect in 1993, he was and still remains a pillar of support to the cause with the wealth of information and experience he possesses
Nigel Albuquerque (Social and Civic Activist)
Nigel Albuquerque is a Co-founder, MCC Civic group which was formed with like-minded citizens five years ago to address the multiple civic issues that remain unaddressed by the Mangalore City Corporation authorities. He was part of the team that went to the High Court of Karnataka to obtain a judicial order on the implementation of the clauses relating to ward committees and Area Sabhaas provided under the 74th Constitutional Amendment of 1992, supplemented by the Karnataka Municipal Corporations (Amendment) Act of 2011. As mentioned above the team was successful in challenging the apathy of the Corporation authorities and now awaits the compliance in letter and spirit of the Judicial order in the mater of WP53244/2018.
Alfie D'Souza (Journalist)
Alfie D'Souza, a journalist with Mangalorean.com as also a Member of MCC Civic Group, has been covering all the events and Civic issues taken up by MCC Civic Group and highlights them in the Mangalorean.com, a web portal read by most Mangaloreans on a daily if not hourly basis. His positive journalistic activism in matters that affect society - the apathy and indifference of the government authorities as also in many cases also the efforts of people in society to overcome obstacles to become successful and a boon to society have had a tremendous impact on the speed with which the corporation addresses issues or even addresses them at all. He is a pillar of support to the many civic issues of MCC Civic Group, and the general public, with his unique writing talents and professional positive journalism.
All the awardees were presented with a shawl, memento, citation, and a plant by the Founders of the Samithi-Praddep Mendonca and Inderjit Singh Rathore.
The Vote of thanks was proposed by Inderjit Singh Rathore, the Co-Founder of Bharatiya/Bengaluru Nagarika Samithi.
About the Bharatiya Nagarika Samithi / Bengaluru Nagarika Samithi
The Bharatiya Nagarika Samithi (BNS) and Bengaluru Nagarika Samithi (BNS) headquartered at No. 46, BHEL Officers Layout, Bannerghatta Road, Bengaluru-560041 is a movement for the improvement of the quality of life. This is a movement of the Nagariks, by the Nagariks and for the Nagariks. The objective is to create a forum of Leadership for the benefit of society. The founders say that they look forward to all joining in this effort.
BNS initially set out to help Senior citizens by getting senior citizen cards and Voter ids for them. They conducted programs for Orphanages and Senior Citizens Homes, which still continue. During the pandemic they joined with Nagariks to distribute Food, Groceries, Hygiene care products, and Essentials with Esteemed Foundations and Organisations Viz, The Akshaya Patra Foundation; Atria Foundation; Corps of Military Police, Bengaluru; Pioneer Corps Training Centre, Bengaluru; Hands4Society; Project Smile Foundation; Child Help Foundation and Karnataka Rashtra Samithi Party. Presently, they are focusing on creating awareness about Hygiene for women. They fund their activities through committed Donors from India and Abroad.
They want to create citizen leadership clusters to ensure that the nagariks benefit from public expenditure and look forward to nagariks supporting this noble effort.
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