Hsitorian Rohit Phalgaonkar has been awarded the Dr Madhavi Sardesai Yuva Shikshak Puraskar 2019. Annually awarded to a young teacher for their contribution in teaching, academics and activism, the award is presented by Parikrama Knowledge Terminus, which is a Knowledge Repository initiative of mid-career professionals. The award is to honour the legacy, scholarship, and activism of late Madhavi Sardesai. The award consists of citation, book, and `25000.
Phalgaonkar is a Grade One teacher in Purushottam Walawlkar Higher Secondary School, Mapusa since 2014. He was also awarded a PhD from Savitribai Phule Pune University in 2015. His doctoral research is based on the history of religion and culture through the context of iconography.
Phalgaonkar is known for his extensive research on textiles of Goa and scholarly arguments tracing the origin of the Kunbi saree among scheduled tribes. He is also credited with the revival of the textile and identifying the varieties of it. He works among the textile weavers of scheduled tribe communities to provide them respectable livelihood.
His research work tilted ’Goa Bronzes’ has been approved by the Department of Art and Culture for publishing. Besides this, he has various publications to his credit. Phalgaonkar has served as member on various government bodies and boards of archaeology and museums and has also helped the Goa State Museum to restore certain sculptures.
The committee jury panel observed that Phalgaonkar represents the scholarship that is sharp and scientific.
A young scholar should engage with society for awakening and reforms. Phalgaonkar’s body of work in academics reflects his approach in developing history for a comprehensive dialogue with the society.
His work with the scheduled tribes also reflects the essence of the award as the scholarship has to be invested in community development and public intellectualism.
Previously Jayesh Raut, Naresh Naik, and Rohit Bhosale were presented with this award. Konkani writer Hema Naik was the chairperson of the jury panel. Actor-activist Rajdeep Naik and grammarian Vinanti Kansar Kalangutkar were part of the jury panel. The jury panel observed that academic contribution could not be separated from social consciousness as the award is in honour of a scholar who was an activist in every field. The body of work and credentials should reflect innovation and change.
The award will be presented during the inauguration of Parikrama 0.3 at Mardol on January 12, 2020.