North American Konkani Association (NAKA) was formed in 1998 when Ms. Nina Padukone, Damodhar Baliga, Vasanth Bhat and (Late) M. Vasudev Nayak saw a need for an all encompassing national organization to help unite the North American Konkani community, with the goal of preserving our language (our means of communication), showcasing our culture, and nurturing our customs and traditions. With this vision guiding us, NAKA strives everyday to serve as a resource, provide a helpful hand when needed, and create a national presence for the Konkani community.
What we do?
NAKA was created with the intent of being a central resource to provide support to regional planning committees through its board members’ vast experience in planning Sammelans. Since its inception, it has served in financial, charitable, and informational capacities for Sammelans, youth conventions, and other ventures. Moving forward, NAKA has plans to broaden its role within the Konkani community in North America to include taking on a more substantial role in the organization of Sammelans, in order to cater to the attendees and provide a more stable blueprint for future Sammelans, including overhauling the current financial model. It is the opinion of NAKA’s members that the current fundraising process is not sustainable, and must be modified to ensure that future Sammelans can be presented with the same quality without becoming cost-prohibitive. Aside from Sammelans, our goal is to support the youth conventions, local Konkani organizations throughout North America, and most importantly, to unite Konkanis throughout North America. If you would like to see the bylaws and amendments for NAKA, feel free to contact us.
Why does the Konkani Community need NAKA?
How can the Konkani Community help NAKA?
In addition to the founding three members, the new Board members were the leaders of the Sammelans held in Houston, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Canada. Several Board Members were reluctant to continue due to other commitments and requested that they be dropped from the Board. The consensus was that there was a need to start with a smaller team, a new charter, mission and goals, so the Board decided to seek nominations for the five positions from within the existing Board. Since NAKA had no membership system at the time, there was no formal process for nomination within the entire Konkani community. The nomination process was open for about a month. Elections were held at the Board meeting (held in Sheraton Conf. Room) in New Jersey, one day before the Sammelan. Most of the current Board members were present during the election. It was a secret ballot system and the process was transparent and agreed to by everyone. All were satisfied with the process and the results. The new Board will formulate the term of the NAKA Board and how to open up the election to a wider community. They will likely consider a membership system and term limit for the Board. It is likely that they will seek input from the community in this regard.
The new Board may consider adding new members at an appropriate time should they find it necessary. We humbly suggest that you provide feedback and input as the new Board moves forward in hopes of improving these processes in our Members Suggestions & Ideas tab. All input is greatly appreciated.
In all the years past, the NAKA board has done a fantastic job in carrying out the responsibilities for our organization. One of their primary goals was to help identify a host committee for our Konkani Sammelan. Konkani Sammelan has been considered as one of the ways we can bring Konkanis from North America together to celebrate our unique culture, language, heritage and food. NAKA has provided the initial seed money and guidance to the host committee to help carry out this event successfully. Earlier, NAKA was chiefly just the architect of the Sammelan; now, NAKA will take a more proactive approach to bring the Konkani community together as a whole for future generations to come. One of the major initiatives we have started is to redo our website, MyNAKA.org, and make it a major services platform for all Konkanis to visit and to share our experiences, write blogs, share Konkani recipes, provide Konkani matrimonial services and networking opportunities for our seniors, create and upload short Konkani language videos and any other services valued by our community. For this vision to be realized, we need your help. Your contributions to the MyNAKA website is an integral part of making this happen. Each and every single one of you can do your part by actively participating on this journey with us in order to help make an accessible resource for Konkanis everywhere. The NAKA board will create different committees responsible for various tasks we desire to get done. Our first committee is already up and running. We would like to request that you regularly visit MyNAKA.org, register as a member and see how you can help. At the very least, we would like to have a few volunteers from each Konkani association in North America participate. We look forward to all of you in our journey in the next four years.