BEACH CARNAVAL ‘FOODPRENEURS’!
PANAJI CARNAVAL COMING UP: One of the special features highlighting Panaji’s carnival coming up next weekend (February 26, 27, 28 and March 1) will be “foodpreneurs.” To coin a new word in culinary parlance! It seems during the pandemic life was tough and many became foodpreneurs doing small-scale “at-home” businesses offering a passion-driven range of delectable food for food lovers. The Panjim City Carnaval is offering about 50 of these foodpreneurs a platform to showcase their creations. It is a venture partnered by the Corporation of the City of Panaji and FIERCE Kitchens, India’s first culinary incubator company based in Goa. The foodpreneurs will be at the refurbished walkway at Miramar beach. Carnival and foodies revellers may look them up! Picture above depicts Panaji Beach Carnaval poster and alongside are (L to R) Abhishek Singh, Rajesh Joshi, Agnelo J Fernandes (CCP Commissioner), Vivek Parsekar and Parixit Pai Fondekar (founder of FIERCE Kitchens).
KILLING THE TALEIGAO FIELDS!
WE did a reconnaissance of the Taleigao fields last year. Why? As citizens we have been regularly making time to conduct on ground surveys by meeting farmers and visiting all the peripheral areas of the Taleigao fields. For a while we held silent protests every Thursday. This was the outcome of the clandestine filling up of the low-lying stretch of cultivable fields next to the Taleigao Community Centre and proposed site for a second Panchayat Ghar.
The young 16-year-old farmer Nathan D’Souza made a clarion call to help him and his fellow farmers from draconian usurping of traditional fields for “development.” How can development come at the cost of food security? Action has to be taken to protect the fields from flooding. As concerned citizens we joined in the young farmer’s fight and to create an awareness of what was happening and to protect the last food bowls of Taleigao for the future.
–Tallulah D’Silva, Panaji
FOR years halva was kindled prior to sending the people involved in making the budget to a secret place. They have no contact with anyone including their families and after 10 days they emerge with documents that detailed the tax structure for the coming financial year.
This year for some reason the Finance Ministry (FM) did away with the ritual and bought sweets for distribution. This is more economical and good for the shop owner! Perhaps the FM did not want to soil its hands before presenting the budget. Although there are not many benefits for the common person in the budget we should sigh in relief that personal taxes have not increased.
Thank God for small mercies. We can buy diamonds on which tax has been reduced and sell them for a sparkling and shining future! Also, the change of MPT from Trust to MPA – Authority — has literally changed land ownership from locals to the Centre and its favoured businessmen. This means if the MPA decides to have marinas, locals have no right to object. The Centre has gone to such extreme measures to quell the rights of Goans, they will not stop unless locals can come out with a countermanding law.
Now is the time for all Panchayats to pass resolutions that locals do not want certain types of business in their neighbourhood which are against their own culture and livelihood. They must list: marinas, massage parlours, structures near the sea shore: forget about using the HTL because the Centre will only pass laws reducing the same. This must be done on a war footing. Do not wait like Goas did in the case of the linear projects like double-tracking and building of highways – they are lost causes now. Act about the other undesirable projects now.
–Sridhar Iyer, Mumbai
IT IS inexcusable that BSNL services across Goa are in a state of flux. A lot of phones have been dead for the last few years. Even the telephones at most government offices including the Secretariat are not functioning. In times when communication technology has been advancing everywhere, the BSNL telephone services in Goa are in utter dire straits.
Less said the better on BSNL’s internet services. Its connectivity all over and especially in the villages is extremely pathetic. Even where the network exists, the speed is extremely slow which is further frustrating.
This has been adversely affecting students in their online classes and also people at large being unable to access online services provided by the government and other institutions. Fortunately, our schools are set to reopen next week.
It is high time that the now dysfunctional BSNL which has been in total disarray gets its act together. With technology advancing worldwide, the importance, benefits and urgency of having state of the art internet connectivity with access and speed has become significantly greater. The pitfalls of not having one like most of our villages in Goa are sadly experiencing is absolutely unacceptable.
Progress and development claimed by the government cannot be just on paper and mere loud talk. People need to experience and feel that real change for the better.
–Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar
RECENTLY, a major fire at ACGL resulted in huge losses to the company. ACGL claimed the same was due to a short circuit. There are an increasing number of such incidences in Goa with the Fire Department also claiming that they are due to short circuits. Why don’t they interrogate the electrical contractors?
Electricity rules are stringent, and the short circuits can only be due to negligence or use of sub-standard material and electricians/contractors. India is famous for producing duplicate items of reputed brands. The Metrological Department needs to up its ante on this matter as we see numerous migrant traders and electricians pushing these products.
MLA’s must legislate that only ITI electricians with wireman’s certificates undertake wiring jobs under qualified electrical contractors. But they don’t: why? Migrant votes. This is their idea of development. Delhi is a hot spot for such duplicate and spurious electrical material and Goa a major “customer” for the same.
–R Fernandes, Margao
ELECTORAL REFORMS, PLEASE!
WE need urgent and radical electoral reforms. Politics is no longer a mission, it has become a profession, there must be a retirement age mandated by law. The law must also prescribe mandatory educational qualification for those contesting elections. We need to amend the law to ensure that political morality prevails.
The anti-defection law came into force in 1985 to deter endemic political defections by legislators motivated by the lure of office and monetary gains. The intent of the law was to prevent corruption by way of horse-trading and to debar defecting MPs and MLAs from holding public office for five years and from contesting the next election if they defect.
Not to defeat the very intent of the law, there is a need to ensure that election petitions and more particularly those relating to the anti-defection law should be decided very expeditiously in a time bound manner by an independent authority. Our elected representatives must be made accountable for their deeds and misdeeds.
Ethics should always be an integral part of politics. Citizens demand ethical behaviour from political leadership. Lawmakers have a fundamental and moral duty to lead by example and they may not be law breakers, abuse the trust that people have vested in them. Authentic leadership comes with authentic and ethical governance.
–Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar