Basti Vaman Shenoy Vishwa Konkani Seva Puraskar, the annual awards for outstanding contribution in service of the society instituted by World Konkani Centre for the year 2022 have been announced by The Konkani Bhas ani Sanskriti Prathistan, World Konkani Centre, Mangaluru.

The award was established in 2014 on the occasion of the 80th birth anniversary of Late Basti Vaman Shenoy, founder of the World Konkani Centre by chief patron of the centre T.V.Mohandas Pai. So far 16 distinguished personalities have been bestowed with the award. The Awards for the year 2022 has been announced by the Konkani Bhas Ani Sanskriti Prathistan as recommended by the Award Jury.

1.     Dr. B. Shantharam Baliga: for outstanding contributions in the Neonatal Critical Care sections in the district hospitals which has resulted in the reduction of Infant Mortality Ratio and invaluable contribution in Malaria Control in the Region.

2.     Dr. Lavina M. Noronha: for Outstanding Contribution to the Terminally ill and Alziemers Patients by setting up Ave Maria palliative care Hospice and Susheg Jivith Neuro Care centre in Mangaluru.

The nominations for Basti Vaman Shenoy Vishwa Konkani Seva Puraskars were invited through online submission. A total of 241 nominations were submitted. The Award Jury Comprising of the Chairman Cholpady Devadas Kamath, Gilbert D’Souza, Shyamala Shenoy A. K., Giridhar Kamath and Nandagopal Shenoy evaluated the nominations and selected the awardees after due deliberations.

The Awardees will be honoured with the Awards during the Vishwa Konkani Puraskar Ceremony in the presence of Shri T.V.Mohandas Pai and Dr. P. Dayananda Pai and other dignitaries.

Well known Human Rights and Consumer Awareness Activist Dr. Ravindranath Shanbhag will present the awards. He will also deliver a Basti Vaman Shenoy Memorial Lecture on the occasion.


A brief profile of Dr. B. Shantharam Baliga

Dr. B. Shantharam Baliga is a practicing pediatrician and Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at Kasturba Medical College, Mangaluru. He has rendered selfless service to the public health sector by going beyond the call of duty. He has put in over 40 years of pioneering service for improving neonatal care and child care in the public health sector in the region and state.

Dr. B. Shantharam Baliga helped develop medical and neonatal / pediatric critical care facilities at Lady Goschen Hospital and Wenlock Hospital, the two lead district hospitals of Dakshina Kannada. He facilitated Pediatric High Dependency Unit at Wenlock Hospital (1995), Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Lady Goschen Hospital (1998), Marissa Memorial Oxygen Bank Ancillary Unit to NICU at Lady Goschen Hospital (1999) and revitalization of PICU at Wenlock Hospital (2000). During 2015-2021, he set up a 100 bed Level-II NICU complex at Lady Goschen Hospital along with Human Milk Bank. All these facilities benefit over 4000 poor children annually. It has reduced the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Perinatal Mortality Rate (PNMR) in the district.

He has voluntarily involved himself in the public health sector for improving the standards of child care. He has immensely influenced the policy making process. He is an active member of the Developmental Committee of Wenlock District Hospital, District Task Force, District Infant Death Audit Committee and District COVID Death Audit Committee. During 2010-2012, he helped set up NRHM Special Newborn Care Units (SCNUs) in 23 District hospitals for the Government of Karnataka. Thousands of neonates are being treated every month.

During 2005-2008, he played a key role in establishing the Regional Advanced Pediatric Care Centre (RAPCC) at Mangaluru for the Government of Karnataka at a cost of Rs. 12 crore (financial assistance of Rs. 6 crore from Infosys Foundation). This unit has enabled advanced technology to reach the poorest in society. RAPCC functions as a ‘Model Unit’ catering to the needs of the people of eight revenue districts. RAPCC is a nodal centre for capacity building in neonatal care under NRHM Karnataka.

Dr. B. Shantharam Baliga established a Malaria Control Cell for the city of Mangaluru in 1995 with funding from Corporation Bank. He has developed Malaria Control Software in association with Sri Naren Koduvattat for continuous monitoring of incidences of Malaria in and around Mangaluru city. Malaria has reduced by 85%, from 12,641 cases in 2015-16 to 1813 cases in 2019-20.

He has made himself generously available to numerous NGOs and voluntary organizations. He was a Founder Member of Chetana Society for Disabled Children, which strives for the rehabilitation of developmentally challenged children. He is a Central Advisory Board member of Childline and a resource person of its Mangaluru Unit. During 1986-2001, he was actively involved with Nirmala Welfare Society, which facilitates adoption of orphans in Mangaluru. He has served Mangalore Medical Relief Society as Programme Director between 1995 and 2003, and as treasurer and secretary. This organisation acts as a catalyst to mobilize private funds for effective utilization of the sanctioned facilities of the government hospitals in Mangaluru.


A brief profile of Dr. Lavina M. Noronha:

Dr Lavina Noronha is an epitome of humility and dedication as she treads a path less travelled while most would be happy to build their careers towards lucrative professions and self-centred growth and personal success. Dr Lavina M Noronha, PhD, MSW, the director of Ave Maria Palliative Care, is a living example of commitment at work in service of humanity. She received her M Phil from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru and her Doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.

Dr Noronha served as an associate professor and director of the MSW Programme at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas, USA. To add to that, she has had several years of clinical practice in the fields of mental health, Crisis Respite, Employee Assistance and Hospice in the USA. She also has several professional publications and presentations on a variety of topics to her credit and is the founder president of CREST International Inc, USA and a member of the Indian Association of Palliative Care.

Life of Dr Lavina Noronha changed, when she came to India to be with her father who was suffering from Alzheimer’s. Although, in the past, she had counselled many Alzheimer’s sufferers, it was different when she saw her own father suffer. She saw that there was very little help available around for terminally ill patients and moreover, there was very little that was done to alleviate their pain.

She returned to her hometown to start a Hospice, leaving behind her lucrative and coveted job. She joined the CDSE Trust which offered her land to build the hospice unit.

Dr Lavina’s dream project, Ave Maria Palliative Care has patients suffering from cancer, liver diseases, renal failure and dementia, who need holistic comfort and care. The home is free and anyone is welcome, regardless of religion, class and caste.

Dr Noronha has been efficiently managing the 15-bed hospice with utmost professionalism, taking along an equally dedicated team of doctors, nurses, care givers and volunteers coupled with the goodwill of many which she has earned over the years of her toil.


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