Panaji, Jul 30: Nearly 28 years after its first edition, Goa's lone Konkani daily 'Sunaparant' is heading for a closure from next month, with the management attributing the decision to escalating cost of bringing out the newspaper.
"It is with a very heavy heart that I have to take the decision today to close down 'Sunaparant', which I had started when Konkani was made the official language of Goa in 1987," Goa's leading mining industrialist Dattaraj Salgaoncar, who owns the newspaper, said in a statement issued here yesterday.
"I never looked at the huge losses I had to bear for last 28 years since it was for a cause. I must say 'Sunaparant' did very well in touching the hearts of Goans, and in terms of developing Konkani in the field of journalism as well as literature and taking ahead the thoughts of unity, free thoughts, secularism and scientific temper enshrined in our Constitution," he said.
"After 17 years, in 2004, I even bore further losses by making it more modern and with more colour pages. I was hopeful that the response would increase and we will make it a full-fledged daily like the chain newspapers of Maharashtra and other states dominating Goa's media scenario," he said.
"But, unfortunately, 'Sunaparant' did not get the expected response from Konkani readership or advertisers though the Konkani movement has become much stronger in last 28 years," he added.
The shutting down of the newspaper is likely to leave 27 employees jobless, who have now approached Goa Union of Journalists (GUJ) for redressal.
A delegation of GUJ, led by its president Sadguru Patil, met Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar seeking the government's intervention into the matter.
"Parsekar has assured us to look into the matter. We are hoping that government will intervene and help the staff," GUJ president Patil said. 'Sunaparant' was started on May 13, 1987, after Konkani was made the official language on February 4 that year, after a prolonged struggle by Goans.
Chandrakant Keni, who was also editing 'Rashtramat', was the founder editor of the four-page Konkani newspaper started from Margao, the fort of Konkani movement.
He was succeeded by Uday Bhembre and Raju Nayak, after which the black-and-white newspaper was shifted to the capital city of Panaji, with 10 pages and coloured edition in 2004.
In Panaji, Sandesh Prabhudesai, Anant Salkar and Babali Naik were its editors.