The Ambassador of Goa's Culture, Vinayak Khedkar wins Padma Sri

Vinayak Khedkar, from the Savoi-Verem village in Goa, is the only person from the coastal state who will be conferred with the prestigious award of the Padma Sri this year.

Goa's notable author, folklorist, scriptwriter, former Marathi journalist and polyglot, Mr Vinayak Khedkar has found his name among the 102 people who will receive the civilian honour of Padma Sri this year. Famed to be the ambassador of Goa for penning the magnum opus 'Goa: Life, Land and Legacy', this 82-year-old man is a breathing proof that life never ceases to teach as he adds another wing to his long list of awards & accolades, inspiring several others with his zeal to learn and dedication to serve.

Vinayak Khedkar, the man of many wonders

Vinayak Khedkar, from the Savoi-Verem village in Goa, is the only person from the coastal state who will be conferred with the prestigious award of the Padma Sri this year. Though he never attended institutionalised education, his yearning to learn could not limit his potential to rise as polyglot, fluent in Sanskrit, English, Hindi, Marathi and Konkani. Not only that, his knowledge supersedes the borders, and during an official sojourn, he had picked up the Russian language along with its culture.

With more than two dozen publications under his name, Khedkar has inked Goa's cultural forms, folk dances, tribal craft, through plays in Konkani, Marathi, research articles and books, which has got him the title of being the ambassador of Goa's culture.

Besides being a Hindu priest, he has worked as a journalist for Marathi daily Gomantak and The Navhind Times. He was also the Goa correspondent of the Kesari, a vernacular regional newspaper in Maharashtra. Beyond books, his notable service also guided the Kala Academy as a member Secretary which opened the doors of international travel for him to New York and South America where the exposure only heightened his knowledge. Vinayak is also the flag-bearer of several cultural activities at the Kala Academy now, including faculties of music, Goa College of Art, folk festival, bhajani competition.

His honour was acknowledged by Chief Minster who extended his wishes to the octogenarian for bringing pride and honour to the state. In a tweet, the CM stated, "My congratulations to Shri Vinayak Vishnu Khedekar Ji, expert on Goan folk and cultural heritage, and prominent author, on being conferred with the prestigious Padma Shri Award. A proud moment for Goa."

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