MONICA DANTIS – First Lady President of MCCP
By Antony D’Cunha
Women winning their place to the highest role in the community reveal their mainstream participation in community welfare and such fascinating stories motivate others to follow suit. Women’s transition from traditional roles of daughter, sister, wife and mother to inclusive mainstream participation highlights the changing role of women in the society and at workplace in the corporate world.
We have such woman in our community and she is Monica Dantis – the first Lady President of MCCP. Although a member of MCCP for 18 years, the breakthrough came when Henry Martis, spotted her talents and gave her an opportunity to perform in his Executive Committee during 2004 – 2005 and 2005 – 2006 in the capacity of General Secretary and that gave her confidence in her abilities. Since then she has been actively shouldering the responsibilities of MCCP’s activities. During 2006 – 2007 her role as advisor to the Spiritual and Cultural Committee and her contribution in bringing young talented budding artistes and actors together for the Musical extravaganza “Sangeet Sobbhann” was well appreciated by the community. Her role in 2007 – 2008 sub-committees had special impact on overall performance of MCCP. Her contribution as the Vice President for Cultural & Spiritual activities during 2009-2010 in the Rainbow team of seven Ladies and three Men under the leadership of Suraj Rebello, was commendable.
According to American Poet – Lucy Larcom “Whatever with the past has gone, the best is always yet to come.” It proved to be true in Monica’s case. She was waiting for an opportunity to unleash her full potentials and that dream she fullfilled by becoming the first lady president of MCCP in the year 2010-2011. Supported by able and most talented team of Executive Committee, she dedicated the year in honour of all “Fathers” and embarked on her mission to provide common platform to showcase the glory of our homeland “Mangalore”, develop leadership qualities in our younger generation, pave way for our budding talents to explore the untapped areas in keeping with the contemporary requirements of our society.
Most memorable events of her time are “Meet the Future” – a career guidance workshop conducted by well known professionals in the field for our younger generation, “Fathers Day” – a day in honour of all the fathers, Drawing & dance competition for budding talents, Spiritual devotions for inner healing, Cultural & entertainment activities to refresh minds, Fun & Sports activities for physical fitness. Gulf Voice of Mangalore 2010 (GVOM) semi-final rounds were also held during her tenure and of course, it was a collective effort by all the concerned.
Married to Valerian Dantis – belonging to Paladka Parish, she attributes her success to her Husband, for his immense support and guidance. They are blessed with two talented sons – Meval and Dale. Meval, was actively involved in Ruwi Parish Choir and MCCP activities from childhood playing Keyboard, acting, dance, music, sports & related areas. He is currently pursuing his Mechanical Engineering at VNIT – Nagpur. Younger son – Dale, is also following his brother’s footsteps. They are a very close knit cohesive family.
[flagallery gid=18 name=”MONICA DANTIS”].
Born in a God fearing middle class family at Kinnigoli, she is 4th among the six children of late Benjamin and Cocess D’Souza. She holds her father late Benjamin D’Souza – a betel leaf (“Paan” in Konkani) merchant by profession, in high esteem for his high social & moral values and in fact, he is her role model. She had her early education at the Little Flower Girls’ Convent School, followed by higher education at the Pompei College, Kirem. She was an active participant in all sports activities including high jump. Besides studies, most of her time was spent in church activities, visit to Concetta Hospital run by Bethany Sisters, etc., basically on community service and social activities.
Among the umpteen childhood memories, she feels the Monthi Fest celebration with her siblings, the nine days novena coupled with the joy of plucking flowers from nature’s bounty to offer Mother Mary, her Dad’s contribution in bringing the yellow flowers (popularly known as “Mitai Phoolan”) on his way back from the market, so on and so forth, are the fondest memories that would take back to the lanes and by-lanes of her homeland. In fact, their house used to be full of flowers during Monthi Fest season as she with her siblings used to distribute flowers to other children belonging not only to Kinnigoli Parish but also nearby Parishes such as Kirem, Kateel and Niddodi. Such was the festive spirit at Monthi Fest season and just a flashback of sweet moments that she had spent with her Dad, Mom and siblings in and around Kinnigoli.
These homeland memories occupy special place in our heart as they say ‘Home is, where the heart is’. MCCP is focusing on bridging that gap over the years.
On completion of her education, armed with diploma in Secretarial practice, she set her journey to the city of dreams to start her professional career in the maximum city “Bombay” (now Mumbai) and of course, her elder sisters supported her to overcome the early struggles. After the initial struggle in a private company she got into a multinational company where she worked till her marriage. After the marriage she moved to Muscat to join her husband and since then she has been employed with the top corporate conglomerate engaged in diverse business interests.
She would like to sum up her life’s motto in the following hymn:
“People knocking at my door
Strangers seeking love and care
Never let me turn them down
Teach me Lord gently how to share”
Among others, she is indebted to her dear friend Jenny Joseph, for all the help and support.
On this 20th Anniversary of MCCP, during the celebrations of Konkani UTSAV, she would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the President, the Executive Committee and all the members.
While MCCP is indebted to all its past leaders and benefactors, we take this opportunity to wish Monica and her family all the very best and success – both in professional as well as personal life.
[flagallery gid=18 name=”MONICA DANTIS”].