President Ram Nath Kovind and First Lady Savita Kovind were on a two-day state visit to Goa for the 30th Annual Convocation of Goa University on July 7, 2018. During his visit President Kovind was felicitated at a civic reception, took time off to visit the Old Goa churches, Mangueshi temple and later planted a sapling at the Raj Bhavan gardens (seen in picture here) in the presence of First Lady Savita Kovind, Governor Mridula Sinha, Dr Ram K Sinha and Raj Bhavan staff


Dear Mr. Narayan,
I have in hand, the latest edition of GO(July 7-13, 2018), that has, as its cover, the “Statue of Liberty.” However, the face is NOT of the usual lady, but the face of some other benevolent, smiling lady, that I just could NOT recognise.
Page 5, rescued me, though not at the first glance. Then suddenly it dawned on me that the “benevolent, smiling lady” was none other than of our own, “Icon of decent Dissent”! But wow! Mr. Narayan, what a lovely lady you make!
And, if you will forgive me, I will grab the privilege, as a niz Goenkar, to place the “Crown” on the Statue of Liberty, which for us Goenkars, it is a “Statue of the daring Icon of decent Dissent. “You are a pure Goenkar, Mr. Narayan, more pure than many of those born to Goenkar parents and one who has consistently done so much more, than most of them.
As a senior citizen (am 75 years young), who has been deeply involved, for many years, in all things Goan, know as most Goenkars do, how many battles you have fearlessly fought, each time risking your life and limb; the time you were physically assaulted, wounded severely and lived, for quite some time, on a diet of Steroids, whose side-effects, remain a life time!
As a Goenkar, I thank God, that your eventful, adventurous journey from “The Financial Express” to “Onlooker” to “Mirror” to “Business India” to the “Tata Group,” finally brought you, in a round-about way, to Goa. In you we have a gladiator, Mr. Narayan. No Goenkar can ever thank you, for so much that you have done and are doing still.
I am amazed at your razor-sharp memory of events, people, dates of a period, spanning half-a-century. That’s such a blessing. No one, just no one, can ever replace you as the Editor the “Goan Observer”. We do not have any “Rajan Narayan”clones! And therefore, you have no choice, but to remain its editor, for the next 50 years, at least.
Wishing you and your “better three-quarters,” abundant health, peace, joy and God’s protection. Always.
— Sergio Carvalho, Panaji

TO be honest we in Panjim do not yet want WiFi, smart cards, RFID tags, fancy installations, board walks, etc. What we need on priority basis are:
• proper roads without potholes;
• safe, walkable footpaths;
• gutter drainage covers which are not precarious and dangerous as they currently (better still remove them);
• 100% coverage of garbage collection, segregation compulsory at source;
• water for at least two hours daily;
• non-fluctuating electricity all the time;
• clean hygienic city free from garbage;
• proper drainage system;
• clear off all the vehicles blocking parking spaces;
•metered public transport system including within the city mini-buses.
I sincerely hope that the IPSDCL works on these things first and WIFI and smart cards can come later.
— Raj Vaidya, Panaji

IN a way the caged parrot Goa Governor Mridula Sinha who has been functioning as a very loyal and dedicated functionary-cum-agent of the BJP may be right that is not a “Public Authority.” The irony, however, is that Manohar Parrikar who while in the Opposition relentlessly demanded that the Raj Bhavan should be under the purview of the RTI Act, he has now disgracefully made yet another of his habitual U-turns. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Are you listening Mr Chief Minister?
­— Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar

THE Saligao plant is a disaster with most of the original 85,000 tons of garbage still lying there and 40% of the garbage going back…trucked to Chattisgarh cement plants for burning as it is so dirty that no recycling is possible. At `50,000 per truck!
The showpiece biomethenation tanks are half full of plastic and sand and can only produce half the electricity …at five times the grid cost. The compost produced has no nutritional value as all organic juices are extracted and “compost” has plastic fibres and fine glass pieces. A sad failure…and they want to double the capacity.
If only sorted garbage is accepted will this plant have some chance of performance…right now it is becoming a well-disguised Sonsoddo!
— Dean D’Cruz, Saligao

Tackle Alcoholism
Local dailies reported the National Award conferred on Dr. R Patil of GMC for his outstanding contribution in the filed prevention of alcohol and substance abuse. Dr. Patil speaks of 20-year-olds developing cirrhosis of the liver suggesting they start drinking daily at age 13!
These are warning signals that need action from all concerned.
Schools/Colleges – Schools need to have at least four talks per academic year from the AA group/GMC Doctors/Nurses. Emphasis must be on the fact that alcohol consumption by minors is illegal.
Police – Liquor cannot be sold to minors. Bars and restaurants, Pubs , super markets must be informed of this by the police .Such outlets need to ask for identity cards. Such outlets must be closed if they do not follow the rules. Action from TTAG?? I doubt.
Health Services/FDA – They too need to visit all education institutions. College students must be informed that there is a recommended healthy limit of alcohol that a man/woman can have in a week. According to Drug and Alcohol Information and support, a man should not exceed eight cans of 500 ml beer in a week and a woman five. This is around 160 g and 100 g of pure alcohol. Teenagers can have much less. Teenagers and their parents seem to think Breezers are all non-alcoholic. Not so. This drink could be the main culprit initiating teenagers to alcoholism.
Information and Broadcasting/Citizens – We see liquor brands clandestinely advertise their products in the name of CDs or soda. They can be requested to avoid the same as responsible companies and if they do not then their refusal can be published. People can then boycott those brands who refused to comply.
GFA/ ISL – The Goa Football association must stop getting sponsors from liquor brands for its tournaments- even from beer brands. Considering the problem faced by 20-year-olds this could be one of the reasons for the declining standard of football. Alcohol free I-League/ISL players need to emphasise that football and liquor do not mix. FC Goa meets many fans but is markedly shown promoting a liquor brand. We see that at every ISL match, a liquor brand is prominently shown advertising the same. Responsible football fans in Goa must not only boycott the brand but say so when they are interviewed by National TV during the live telecasts. One must remember that one 500 ml can of beer is equal to 1 peg of whiskey: it is not as light as one thinks.
— R Fernandes, Margao

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