Neeta Suzanne Rebello: A Researcher and Multi-talented Personality
Report and Pictures By Dr. Eugene D’Souza
Bellevision Media Network
Moodubelle, 09 May 2010: Young and versatile Neeta Suzanne Rebello of Moodubelle has recently earned the distinction of being the first to receive research scholarship instituted by the premier Konkani institution-Mandd Sobhann in memory of late Thomas Castelino. The research book that was produced by Neeta after nearly a year’s hard work titled ‘Mangalorean Konkani Music-Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’ is an important work on the Mangalorean Konkani Music spread over a century. Besides being a research scholar, Neeta has been a multi-talented personality who had made a mark in various activities while in school and college.
Neeta was born as the eldest of two daughters of Gracy and Charles Rebello on 4th February 1987. Neeta’s younger sister, Nikita is presently studying in the Second year of PUC. Neeta had her primary and secondary education in the Moodubelle Church institutions and completed SSLC in St. Lawrence High School in 2002. Thereafter she moved to Mangalore and did two years PUC course in St. Agnes College and graduation from St. Aloysius College, two of the prestigious colleges of Mangalore.
Neeta had been a talented girl right from her childhood. As she was good in singing, Neeta had been a member of the Church Choir right from the first standard till the she was in the PUC and even later whenever she came home during vacation. Neeta cred its her parents, Gracy and Charles as well as caring grand mother, Alice for encouraging her to develop her talents.
Intellectual activities such as elocution, debating, quiz and essay writing have been a strong forte of Neeta. She did participate in various competitions while in higher primary and high school classes and won a number of prizes. She remembers of having won the first prize in debating at the taluka level when she was in 6th standard. In other competitions organised by the parish associations such as the Catholic Sabha, Neeta was assured of prizes as she was a good performer. In high school, Neeta was a member of the Children’s Parliament and was the Cultural Minister. While studying in PUC at St. Agnes College, Neeta won second place in the district level debating competition held at Mangalore.
Neeta claims that YCS (Young Christian Students) and YCM (Yong Christian Movement), the two students’ organisations have been greatly responsible for helping her in developing her latent talents. While studying in St. Lawrence High School, Moodubelle, and later, while in PUC and degree college she was able to develop a number of talents including leadership qualities and organising capacity. She was the member of the Central YCS Committee and the member of the Editorial Board of the YCS diocesan quarterly magazine. She participated in various regional and state level YCS camps, village experience camps and acted in street plays conveying social messages such as evil effects of the use of plastic. Neeta also contributed greatly in organising the talent show of the young students through the programme called ‘Chili-Pili’.
While studying in St. Agnes College and later St. Aloysius College, Neeta had to stay in hostels. Both the colleges and hostels provided additional opportunities for Neeta to showcase her talents. She represented St. Aloysius College, along with other students in various inter-college festivals and won prizes in debating in some of these festivals. She was not only a part of the variety entertainment programmes but also directed some of the events at the state and national level college festivals such as ACME and Art Beat. These mega-events provided an opportunity for Neeta to develop her inner qualities such as confidence, leadership and organisation and management.
In St. Aloysius College, Neeta was a member of various cultural and literary associations and was the secretary of the college debating society. She did participate in the camps organised by the All India Catholic Universities Federation (AICUF) held at Bijapur and Mundgod in North Canara. As a member of the ‘Sahodaya’, Neeta visited various institutions that take care of mentally and physically challenged children and spent considerable amount of time with these less fortunate children.
Neeta has a flair for writing and did contribute articles and poems to the manuscript school magazine known as ‘Suhasa’ while she was in the primary section. Later, she used to contribute her writings to the parish journal, ‘Suvaad’, the YCS quarterly ‘Yuva Thare’ and College magazines.
Neeta’s greatest achievement in the Konkani language was the writing of the research book, ‘Mangalorean Konkani Music-Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’, thus becoming the first research scholar to obtain the research grant from Mandd Sobhann, the premier institution promoting Konkani literature and culture. The scholarship is named after the Mandd Sobhann Pirgent (sponsor), late Thomas Castelino.
Recalling her association with Mandd Sobhann, Neeta says that she had been taking part in various youth Konkani programmes organised by Mandd Sobhann and Konkani Sahitya Academy. She was the leader of St. Aloysius College team that had participated in “Konkani Yuva Mahotsva’ in which the college team had won first prize in overall performance. Later, while she was doing the post graduate studies in Masters in Social Work, Neeta had also led the St. Aloysius College Ladies Hostel singing team in the ‘Konkani Niranthari’, the nonstop marathon singing that created the Guinness World Record in group singing that was organised by Mandd Sobhann. In this way Neeta had made her presence felt in the Mandd Sobhann circle.
When Mandd Sobhann had announced scholarship for research in the history of Konkani Music, Neeta, who was in the final year of BA sent in her application and was selected to do the research and write the book. Thus, Neeta had the twin responsibility of studying for her final BA and also do research and collect information for the project.
While quizzed about the difficulties she faced while collecting information, Neeta said that the task was more difficult than she had visualised. Collecting information about various composers, singers, musicians, lyricists, artists, etc. spanning over a century was quite laborious. Neeta said that she had to visit various places such as Mumbai, Chikmagalur, Puttur and other such places where she could locate persons associated with Konkani music. It was a challenging task, but Neeta persevered and within a year she collected relevant information through questionnaires, personal interviews and written materials. Neeta says that she interviewed as many as 250 different persons associated with the Konkani music for her research work. She is grateful to Mr. Eric Ozario, the Gurkar of Mandd Sobhann for providing guidance and necessary support in completing the research.
Armed with the enormous amount of information, Neeta had to classify and arrange the material and put it down in writing. Meanwhile, she completed her graduation and joined the post graduate course in Masters in Social Work (MSW) with specialisation in Industrial Labour and Personnel Management. While, doing the post graduate course, Neeta also began to compile her research work which she completed in December 2009.
After going through the manuscript over and over again and meticulously incorporating the research results, Neeta submitted her work to Mandd Sobhann which took upon itself the responsibility of publishing it. Once the book was printed and ready, it was formally released through the hands of an accomplished singer, Mrs. Anuradha Padwal on 4th April 2010 at the 100th Monthly Theatre known as ‘Shembhor Sadhane’. After the release of this first ever research work under the auspices of Mandd Sobhann, Neeta has the satisfaction of blazing a trail that will be followed by many more enthusiastic researchers in Konkani on different issues.
After completing her MSW course, Neeta worked for six months at Bosco Institute of Social Sciences at Bangalore. As she was looking for a better and challenging job, Neeta recently got an appointment as Assistant Labour Welfare Administrator, a Central Government department at Bangalore.
Neeta Suzanne Rebello has reached a stage when she will be starting her career after having a solid foundation in education and personality development through schools, colleges, hostels and youth associations. She used the opportunities that came on her way in developing her talents and hidden qualities which will go a long way in proving herself as a good administrator and fine human being.
Bellevision wishes Neeta Suzanne Rebello a bright future and success in the career of her choice.