Prof Hilda, Walter among 5 selected for Rachana awards

The awards will be presented in Mangalore on November 25

Rachana, a forum of Catholic businessmen, professionals and entrepreneurs will confer its annual award on five outstanding personalities selected from various fields, at Milagres hall in Mangalore on November 25.

Addressing a press meet on Tuesday, Rachana President Roy Castelino said the awardees are Prof Hilda Rayappan (Woman of the Year), Florine Pinto (Agriculturist of the Year), Walter D’Souza (Entrepreneur of Year), Dr Oscar G Concesso (Professional of the Year) and Mark Denis D’Souza, Sharjah (NRI Entrepreneur of the Year).

The award distribution ceremony programme will be presided over by Mangalore Bishop Rev Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza. Major Gen (Retd) Ian Cardoza, Chairman, Rehabilitation, Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, will be the chief guest.

A panel of 15 eminent members from Catholic community selected the awardees.

Prof Hilda Rayappan

Prof Hilda Rayappan has been chosen for her outstanding contribution in the field of social service over three decades. She is the founder of Prajna Counselling Centre, Mangalore.

The main thrust of the organisation is to give professional help and advice to someone with psychological or personal problems and also offers humane services to the needy and deprived in their community, irrespective of caste, creed and religion.

The Centre has helped over 6,000 cases of distressed women and girls, and built a 40-bed de-addiction cum rehabilitation centre in Mangalore, thereby providing fresh lease of life to nearly 16,193 addicts so far. It has promoted over 250 Self-Help Groups and provided help to over 1,000 children and families of weaker sections in education and employment.

Florine Pinto

Florine Pinto is a progressive agriculturist with modern outlook who has taken up cultivation of high yielding crops such as paddy, coconut, arecanut, pepper and tropical fruits like chikku, banana, 3 varieties of jambus and pineapple in an irrigated land spread over 20 acre land.

She has donated one acre of land to build a chapel at Perne, and served the village community for over 21 years both as member and president of Perne panchayat.

Walter D’Souza

He is a leading exporter of Mangalore and Chairman of Federation of Indian Export Organisations, Union Ministry of Commerce.

Walter D’Souza is an importer of raw cashew nuts and the leading exporter of cashew kernels and shell liquid from India. He is the winner of best exporter award for cashew nut shell liquid from government of Karnataka.

Dr Oscar G Concesso

Hailing from Mangalore, he presently works in Chennai and has a masters degree in architechture from the University of Oklahoma, USA, and is one of the few doctorates in Modern Architecture. He has been awarded for his innovative idea on post tension technologies in high-rise buildings, the first of its kind in India.

He has won Indian Buildings Congress National Award 4 times for excellence in built environment unmatched by any architect in India.

Mark Denis D’Souza

He established industry Fortuna Engineering Works in 1986 which is one of the leading companies in the Gulf providing employment to Mangaloreans in particular and Indians in general. He has great concern towards Konkani culture and literature, and is involved in various Mangalorean Konkani organizations in Sharjah and contribution towards social causes.

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