Mr Narang, earlier conferred the fellowship of the Sahitya Akademi on the octogenarian litterateur at a special function held at the Kala Academy.
Speaking further, Mr Narang said that whenever a person selflessly dedicates his entire life to any cause, he rises above the rest of the mortals.
“Mr Kelekar, who rose to great heights through his literary works, has contributed richly for making Konkani a prosperous language,” he added.
Mr Narang also observed that Mr Kelekar has done yeoman service to Konkani literature which has resulted in according a place of pride to the Konkani language.
The octogenarian litterateur, while replying to his honour said that few people had pooh-poohed Konkani language as a dialect of Marathi language, inspite of Konkani being their mother tongue. “Such people who oppose the Konkani language still exist,” Mr Kelekar lamented.
He also said that the honour bestowed upon him was an honour to Konkani language. Mr Kelekar also bemoaned that the literary works published in Konkani language as well as those in Hindi language have no buyers.
Mr Kelekar further observed that the country today has some ‘Bonsai intellectuals’ and the countrymen can very well do without them.
The president of the Goa Konkani Akademi, Mr Pundalik Naik, as well as noted writers, Dr Maria Aurora Couto and Datta Naik also spoke on the occasion.
The convenor of the Konkani Advisory Board, Mr Damodar Mauzo welcomed the gathering, while the secretary of the Sahitya Akademi, Mr A Krishna Murthy read out the citation.