Invitation: Mangalore Cricket Club Qatar- Celebrating 25 years of service

Invitation: Mangalore Cricket Club  Qatar- Celebrating 25 years of service.

Doha : India has one of the highest number of migrants world over. Approximately 31 million Indians live outside the country for various reasons. While most of the people opt to migrate to the United States, the Middle East has been popular among the masses and the source of livelihood for millions of Indians. India has the maximum number of migrants in the Middle East.

Being situated in the western coast of the Indian Peninsula, the then Mangalore did not stay behind. Before the turn of the 20th century, mostly labourers from Mangalore used to travel to the Western Ghats to work in the coffee plantations every year. Then at the turn of the 20th century, the then Bombay became attractive for the skilled and the unskilled with better wages and lifestyle.

With the oil boom in the seventies, oil rich Middle Eastern countries became the talk of the town for job seekers. People migrated in millions with the hope of improving their lives, little aware of the harsh conditions here. However, hope for a better tomorrow is what made them stay back. Many thrived but most had to endure hardships. Unknown man was dwelling in an unknown land.

In the good old days, prior to the digital revolution, communication back home was difficult. Calling a loved one needed preparation and time. Back home people would travel miles and wait for hours to get connected. Here in Qatar we used to go to Qtel (known as QNTS earlier) and wait for our turn for an hour or two, to get connected to our loved ones through a cheaper PP (person to person) call.

This situation isolated us from getting connected to our people, our language and our culture. As our Mangalorean Konkani Catholics’ culture is unique in nature, there was a need to re-create the domain of our culture here in Qatar. The influx of our people in greater numbers and their needs, sorrows, and joys made it more than necessary to do something urgently. There was demand but no supply. A leader or a group had to emerge to take the initiative and the mantle to sooth the distressed, to shelter the displaced, the care for the sick. Help the community to feel at home in this far away land, know each other and build a greater family of friends.

Then, the year 1992 saw the arrival of the group, bonded and not self-centred, willing to serve and shoulder the burden of caring at the hour of need. They realised that with the new found camaraderie, they could do many things, and would do anything to bring the community together. Little did they realise then that their humble desires and apt ground work would one day grow up to be a giant organisation to be popularly known as MCC, Qatar, one of the largest and best organised club of Indians in Qatar.

Thus MCC came into being as the first cultural and sports club of the people of Karnataka in Qatar.

The journey had begun. 12 people assembled as founder members including Lawrence Vas, who was chosen to lead, thus becoming the founder president. There was no formal club as gathering of people with any intent was forbidden by law.

However, later when people were allowed to gather as groups, conduct and participate in sporting events the group made the best use of it. They met regularly for weekly meetings every Friday at 11 am. In the morning there would be a game of cricket followed by lunch. It was a matter of great satisfaction as every member made it a point to attend the weekly meetings despite various hardships.

They celebrated every year the Nativity Feast (Monti Fest with Noven Jevaan) a family feast of the Mangaloreans

In order to pursue its objectives of attaining greater heights in caring and serving, there was a need for a strong, charismatic leader. There was one man who was ever smiling, ever willing, ever loving, affectionate and helpful, best suited for the job than anyone. He is none other than our second President Felix Lobo. Lobo led from the front. His house became the club’s house. The Lobos embraced MCC cadre with all their heart and all their might.

The ball had started rolling. There was a need to formalise the group and have an identity. So, the group baptised itself as ‘Mangalore Cricket Club’ and thus MCC Qatar came into being. Sooner, it was registered with the ICC under the aegis of the Indian Embassy. Rest is history.

Over the years MCC has grown from strength to strength, from a handful of good hearted people to the current registered membership of around 500 (both families and individuals). Today, MCC takes pride in itself for being one of the oldest and most dynamic socio-cultural clubs not only in Qatar but also in the entire Gulf region and is very popular throughout the world for its many activities.



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