Udupi, Feb 17, 2019: Social worker, advocate and writer Shirthady William Pinto (79) passed away on Sunday, February 17. A well known personality, legal expert, adviser and counselor, forceful orator, author, promoter of the cause of the downtrodden and oppressed especially the tiller of the land and a popular activist.
Born on March 27, 1939 as the second among two sons of late Raymond and Mary Pinto, in the remote village of Shirthady in Karkala taluk. He was the first person from his village to acquire the degrees of BA, MA and LLB. He is survived by his wife and two sons.
William Pinto wrote a number of useful articles on Land Reforms Act, which were published in the popular Konkani weekly “Raknno’ which were later brought out in a booklet form and also translated into Kannada under the title “Karnataka Bhusudharane (1974)-Sankshipta Parichaya” highlighting the rights of the agricultural tenants. This book became so popular that it saw five editions selling more than 20,000 copies.
Advocate Pinto’s, ability to enlighten the common local folk in simple language about the complexities of law shot him to fame. He used his penchant for writing on legal matters and published a number of articles in various Kannada and Konkani publications including ‘Janavahini’, ‘Mungaru’, Udayavani’, ‘Navayuga’, ‘Bhavya-Vaani’, ‘Prakasha’, Rayabhari’, ‘Poinnari’, ‘Mithr’, ‘Rakno’, ‘Divo’, ‘Kutam’, ‘Dirvem’, ‘Sandesha’, etc. His series on the legal remedies, in question answer form, have been published regularly even in for few years since 2002. Adv William’s talks on AIR in the old times and later on DD have made his voice and personality known to many to date!
Some of the more important honours and titles conferred on Advocate Shirthady William Pinto includes: The ‘Rachana Professional of the Year 2003’ conferred on him by the former Defence Minister-George Fernandes on January 11, 2004 in Mangalore, ‘Sandesha Special Prashsthi’ for public awareness and fight for Human Rights (1996), All India Konkani Parishat Honour conferred in Mumbai (1997), ‘Zilla Simha Prashasthi’ from Lions Club for his legal service in ten Revenue Districts of Karnataka presented by Shri D. Veerendra Heggade(1999), Document of Appreciation and Gratitude in recognition of constant and selfless support to the social causes from Daijiworld (2004), The ‘Rajyotsava Prashasthi’ conferred on him by the then Chief Minister of Karnataka, Dharam Singh (in November, 2004). ‘J.P. Samaja Ratna Prashasthi’ conferred by Loknayak Jayaprakash Pratishtan, Bangalore (2005), ‘Jeevamaanada Saadhane Prashasthi’ (Lifetime Achievement Award) from the Confederation of Christian Associations, Bangalore conferred by the then Chief Minister D. Kumaraswamy(2007), Honour by the Catholic Association of the Karwar Diocese conferred by the former Union Minister-Mrs. Margaret Alva (2008). The IFKCA Samaja Ratna Award-2012 was presented to him at Udupi on February 28, 2013.
The funeral will take place at Fathima Church, Perampally on Monday, February 18, 2019.
Inputs: I J Saldanha Shet