IFKCA Samaja Ratna Award - 2012 to Three declared

Richard D’Souza

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Udupi : IFKCA (International Fedaration of Karnataka Christian Association) Samaja Ratna 2012 award declared three personalities of Udupi District during the press conference here on Friday, 15th February, 2012 by Louis Lobo President of Udupi Unit and other officials of the unit. The award to be presented on 28th February, 2013.

Honourary award annouced to Advocate, Educationlist and Social Worker Shirthady Willim Pinto, Ex-armyman, Railway Yathri Sangha Udupi, Social Worker R.L.Dias and Director of Vishwashadamane Shankerpura and wellknown philanthropist Paster Sunil D’Souza, as all three equally contributed to Society in greater work.

The nominees for awards included those who had rendered their services in the educational, social, medical, financial and religious field at the district level. Shirthady William Pinto was unanimously selected by the team of jury said by Louis Lobo during the press meet.

The team of jury includes wellknown social worker Veronica Cornelio of Kemmannu, S.B.Soans Businessman and James D’Silva of Brahamavar.



About the Awardees:

Shirthady William Pinto

Shirthady William Pinto has been a well-known personality not only in the undivided district of Dakshina Kannada but also in other parts of the Karnataka State. As a legal expert, advisor and counsellor, forceful orator, promoter of the cause of the downtrodden and oppressed, especially the tiller of the land he has already made a mark as a crusader of agricultural tenants and a popular social activist. Humility and down to earth approach has been the hallmarks of his personality that has endeared to all those people either in high places or the masses with whom he came in contact.


The contribution of Shirthady William Pinto in making the common people aware of their rights and explaining the various  laws  affecting their day to day lives in simple and understandable language through books, articles in various papers and magazines and through talks on Akashvaani, lectures in seminars and workshops and  speeches in public meetings has been greatly appreciated by one and all. Acknowledging his service to the society, Shirthady William Pinto has been honoured and felicitated by various organisations and associations, the most prestigious being the ‘Rajyotsava Prashasthi’(2004)  conferred on him by the Karnataka Government on November 1, 2004.


Though Shirthady William Pinto, presently 73 years of age, has climbed the ladder of success and achievements, his journey to this position has been a difficult one, especially the initial years of his life as a student. However, determination, will power, foresight and inner qualities of William saw him through the difficult phase of his life and set him on the path of an illustrious legal career and social activism that made him n household name in the undivided district of Dakshina Kannada and later in the twin districts of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada.


The door of opportunity to put into practice the ideals and determination to study law opened when the Karnataka Government under the dynamic leadership of the Chief Minister, Devraj Urs enacted the revolutionary Land Reforms Act in 1974. Taking this opportunity, William wrote a number of articles on this issue which were published in the popular Konkani weekly “Rakno’ under the editorship of Rev. Fr. Mark Valdar, which was later compiled into a booklet in Konkani which was later  translated into Kannada under the title “Karnataka Bhusudharane-Sankshipta Parichaya” (1974) highlighting the rights of the agricultural tenants. This book became so popular that it saw five editions selling more than 20,000 copies.


Realising his ability to educate the common people in simple language about the complexities of the law, since 1974, William used his penchant for writing on legal matters and published a number of articles in various Kannada and Konkani papers and magazines including ‘Janavahini’, ‘Mungaru’, Udayavani’, ‘Navayuga’, ‘Bhavya-Vaani’, ‘Prakasha’, Rayabhari’, ‘Poinnari’, ‘Mithr’, ‘Rakno’, ‘Divo’, ‘Kutam’, ‘Dirvem’, ‘Sandesha’, etc. His series on the legal remedies in question answer form have been published regularly in Daijiworld.com for few years  since 2002.



As William was of the opinion that democracy would be more meaningful only if Panchayat system  through which decentralisation of power to the people could be achieved,  wrote an informative book in Kannada titled “Zilla Parishat, Mandala Panchayatu Kanoonu Haagu Rajakiya Jagruti’ in 1986 when late Nasir Saheb who was the Minister for Rural Development and a staunch Gandhian under  the Chief Ministership of Ramakrishna Hegde enacted the ‘District Council and Mandala Panchayat  Act’ (1986). This book was circulated not only in the undivided Dakshina Kannada but also in Shivmogga, Hassan, Uttara Kannada, Chikmagalur, Coorg, etc.


The greatest achievement of Advocate William Pinto in the field of legal writing was the publication of ‘Kanoon Dharshan’ in Konkani published by Rakno Prakashan in 2006. Presently in its sixth edition, this useful legal handbook has created a sort of record by bringing out 11,000 copies since it was first published in 2006 which have been acquired by majority of the Christian households. This book won the Karnataka Konkani  Sahitya Academy Award in 2007.



Advocate William Pinto has been a prominent speaker since 1974 wherever and whenever public meetings related to land reforms, rights of the tillers, public awareness, atrocities against the downtrodden or minorities were held.  He has given hundreds of talks on various subjects related to law and social issues on radio in Kannada, Konkani and Tulu.  Since 2000, William has given speeches in over 150 public awareness gatherings on Constitution and Human Rights. The most memorable public meeting that William addressed was the Dalit Rally of about one lakh twenty five thousand at Nehru Maidan, Mangalore some years back.  William says that he has visited almost all the parishes of the Mangalore Diocese and even some in Karwar and Chikmagalur Dioceses to conduct seminars and create political awareness among the Christians.


Being a well-known legal luminary, Advocate William Pinto has been a much sought after person to be a member or office bearer of many associations and organisations. He was Executive Committee member of Don Bosco Club, Udupi (1959-70) and was its Secretary(1964-65), served as honorary member of Insurance Workers’ Association (1965-95), member of the Management Committee of Milagres College, Kallianpur (1967-77), Scouts Commissioner(1974-76), Vice President of Udupi Scouts and Guides(1978-98), member of the Editorial Board of Rakno Konkani Weekly (1975 till present), legal advisor to Syndicate Bank, Manipal (1974 till present), Vice President, Catholic Sabha of Mangalore Region (1984-85), member of the District Adult Education Committee (1990-96), Vice President of Lawyers’ Association, Udupi (1997). He is presently a member of Udupi District Legal Services Authority  and member of Administrative Council, CODP, Mangalore.


Advocate William Pinto narrated an interesting episode regarding the establishment of the Milagres College, Kallianpur.  The parish priest of the Milagres Church, Msgr D.J. D’Souza was keen to start a college at Kallianpur and has been making repeated appeals to the diocesan authorities. However, for one reason or the other  the project used to be postponed. Eventually, the then Bishop of Mangalore, late Most Rev. Dr. Basil D’Souza agreed for the proposal on condition that the Monsignor should find a principal for the new college. As William Pinto had become quite well-known in Udupi by that time, the Monsignor approached him through the headmaster of the  Milagres High School, Fr. William Gonsalves to find out an experienced lecturer to  be the funder  principal of the new college.


Having known his mentor, Gururaj Bhat who had put in more than ten years of service in the MGM College, William Pinto approached him and requested him to be the first principal of the proposed Milagres College. However, Gururaj Bhat who was the Head of the Department of History was not ready to sacrifice his secure job as a lecturer to uncertain and risky position of a principal that too of a new college.


R.L. Dias



His contribution to the district in terms of getting railway facilities includes additional booking counter in Udupi railway station, second railway platform at Udupi, railway road concreting, rest room for passengers, Mangalore-Bangalore train service and additional compartments to many trains etc.


He was born on February 25, 1933 at Bantwal’s Navoor village. After finishing college he joined the army, after which he served in the forest department for 31 years. He is also the president of Parkala Balakedarara Vedike.

He is married to Judith Lewis and has five children.



Pastor Sunil D’Souza


Pastor Sunil D’Souza runs a rehabilitation center called ’Vishwasada Mane’, where he helps the needy irrespectve of caste and religion.


Born on May 27, 1974, he worked for many years in the Gulf, before starting the ’Divine Generation Ministry Bethel Church Trust’. Without any support from the government, the organization strives to rehabilitate the mentally and physically ill persons.

He has also laid the foundation for a hospital with 250 beds.

He is married to Elizebeth and has two children.



Richard D’Souza



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