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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Participant’s death dampens spirit of youth at Konkani festival

The 11th Konkani Yuva Mahotsav ended this evening on a sorrowful note as one of the participants and a student of Goa College of Music, Ms Shamma Shirodkar killed in a road accident, while returning home on a motorcycle at Grant Neura, few kms away from the venue of the festival.

Young boys and girls from various higher secondaries and colleges who had cheered up the mohotsava venue amidst drum beats since yesterday dampened their spirit after hearing the tragic news about the death of their participating colleague. Though some youth rushed to the spot, which was hardly few kms away from the venue, they could not control their emotions.

The gathering, which was attended by some Konkani writers, poets and others were shocked over the incident and a pal of gloom descended on the festive mood. The different youth groups, who are competing hard against each other have had in one voice decided not to participate in the remaining contest, especially a popular item Mustaiki, a humorous skit contest.

A first year music student, Ms Shirodkar had earlier shown her skill in ‘Lok Mand’ contest. She told her colleagues that she is returning home to Shiroda with her cousin. However the tragic news trickled in the festival venue just few minutes after she left for Shiroda.

However, a formal concluding function was held, wherein the Minister of Art and Culture, Mr Digamber Kamat and the St Andre MLA, Mr Francis Silveira distributed the awards to the winners of various competitions in the festival. However, there were no claps, nor enthusiastic dancing while taking the awards.

Mr Kamat in his brief address said that the government was committed to provide the required grant to hold youth activities in Goa. The Konkani Yuva Mohotsava has changed a lot and the talents of the youth are being tapped in the festival in right earnest, Mr Kamat said and added that youth also get an opportunity to learn many creative skills in the festival.

The Vivekananda Sadarikaran, Keri, Sattari and Savoiverecho Sakyahari groups shared the first prize by scoring equal marks, while the second prize was given to Chowgule College Margao.

While proposing the vote of thanks, Mr Sandesh Prabhudessai informed that the youths should take a lesson from such road accidents. The participants had demonstrated their unity after hearing the news of the road accident and this shows how deeply they are attached to each other in Konkani Yuva Mohotsava.

Meanwhile, the St Cruz MLA, Mr Francis Silveira, who was chairman of the reception committee, the Principal of Fr Agnel College Fr Fredrick Rodrigues and President of the KBM, Mr Bhiku Naik have expressed deep condolences on the sad demise of Ms Shamma Shirodkar.

In a joint statement they have said that Ms Shirodkar was the first year music student in harmonium and immediately after the accident she was rushed to the GMC but the tragic news came when the prizes were being distributed.

They said the organizers had wound up all remaining programmes. Later, the members paid homage to the departed participant by observing two-minute silence.

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