Business Goa, the only magazine in Goa covering business and the economy, has conferred upon the Dempo Group an award as part of the periodical’s annual recognition of good work done by Goan enterprises.
The Business Goa Awards for Corporate Excellence 2017 has singled out our unique initiative, the Dempo Goodwill Ambassador Programme, as the CSR Initiative of the Year.
The award came at a glittering ceremony held at the Goa Marriott Resort, Panaji, yesterday, the 30th April, 2017 at which the who’s who of the Goan corporate world and society were present. India’s foremost ad guru, Piyush Pandey, and the country’s leading TV news editor and anchor, as also son of Goa, Rajdeep Sardessai, were the special guests at the event.
The Dempo Goodwill Ambassadors – Spurring Indian Sport to Global Excellence
The Dempo Business House has for long reflected the concerns of Goans through its specially driven endeavours into social responsibility, not just through its industrializing efforts.
The Goan passion for sport, soccer in particular, is shared by Dempo. But in his aim to formulate sustained non-football programmes of sports development for Goan youth, Group Chairman Shrinivas V Dempo unveiled a unique, first-time corporate endeavour of sports promotional assistance to Goan youngsters who show promise of international excellence in their sporting disciplines.
Known as the Dempo Goodwill Ambassadors, each of these youths is a globally benchmarked / rated achiever in her or his discipline – 22- year old Natasha Palha (lawn tennis), 21 year old Anurag Mhamal (chess), and 14 year old Tanisi Kirtani, (table tennis). Past achievers supported include Ivana Furtado (chess), Talasha Prabhu (swimming) and Akanksha Salunkhe (squash).
The Dempo Goodwill Ambassador Scheme aims to provide a fillip to deserving Goan youths, benchmarking themselves globally in sporting disciplines other than football or cricket. Formulated in the year 2007, the Dempo Sports Policy, administered by a Sports Committee, hopes to create a culture of sport by channelizing vibrant youth energy for sports activities and physical fitness with sportspersons of international standards. The scheme sets aside Rupees Fifty Lakhs, every year for the promotion of the skills and pursuit of three to four sporting talents of Goan origin or domicile, under sixteen years of age, in the disciplines identified by the Sports Committee, with a practical focus on Olympic sports.
In addition to this, Group Company Goa Carbon Limited has supported its GCL Ambassador, 23-year old Bhakti Kulkarni (chess). Each ambassador, already a prodigy when they joined the Scheme, reported a jump in performance and achievement in the course of their association with the Scheme.
That jump can be gauged from a few indicators of performance or achievement:-
- Anurag Mhamal progressed to his International Master title and is on the verge of becoming Goa’s first Grand Master in chess, having secured all the FIDE norms and needing only about 50 rating points to be declared one.
- Bhakti Kulkarni is Goa’s first and only Woman Grand Master in chess. Her latest achievement is winning the Best Woman prize at the Dubai International Open Tournament earlier this month.
- Tanisi Kirtani is already All India No. 5 in the Sub Junior Girl’s Table Tennis rankings, having won a bronze doubles medal in Portugal and a silver team medal in Iran this past fiscal year, two among her international achievements.
- Natasha Palha is ranked #543 in the Global Top 600 Women’s Doubles ITF Rankings in Lawn Tennis and has beaten two players in the Top 400 in the Woman Singles in the previous fiscal, besides winning the Doubles crown at an international open $15000 event in Cairo.
The complete story of the awards ceremony recognising the Goodwill Ambassador Programme, which is Chairman Shrinivas V. Dempo’s brainchild, is given below in the words of Business Goa itself.