LETTER TO EDITOR FOR ISSUE DATED NOVEMBER 12 2022

CAMPAL HERITAGE FESTIVAL

LA CAMPAL HERITAGE FESTIVAL IS COMING UP IN CAPITAL CITY PANAJI…from November 15 to 19, 2022! Highlights include food connoisseur Carlos Fermino’s Mesta’s Food Stall, which will feature authentic Goan food cooked over firewood in earthenware (as in the old, old days). From the mestas and mestinas come the best of Portuguese and Goan home-cooked food handed down from generation to generation. We hear from our correspondent Joanne Pinto that finger-licking menu of dishes will tempt visitors to have their pick from choudi ros, mushroom xacuti, cashewnut xacuti, cauliflower caldine, pumpkin in dal…over the five days. Tossed beetroot salad to go with all meals. For hard-core non-vegetarians there will be beef green, tongue roast, chicken cafreal, pork sorpotel with sannas, pork feijoade…signature dishes beef stew, stuffed squid in red masala, aroz with sausage and green mango water pickle call chepinm. Mop up all with home baked breads of Goa. This Campal Heritage Festival will bring back memories of a grand plated wedding and there’s will be serradura and caramel pudding for sweethearts. Don’t miss. The festival offers much more for heritage home connoisseur and restorer Heta Pandit has something to do with it too! So it is more than a food festival at the Campal Heritage Festival. Don’t miss.

SALIGAO WOES

SALIGOA sarpanch Lucas Remedios has reportedly written a letter to the managing director of the  Goa Waste Management Corporation (GWMC),  questioning the department’s decision to allow Sonsodo waste to be treated at the Saligao treatment plant daily. He has even threatened to call for a special gram sabha to discuss the issue and drum up support from surrounding villages against the move. 

It should be noted that this nuisance creating garbage treatment plant was set atop the Saligao-Calangute plateau after spending a whopping Rs140 crore by bullying the people of Saligao in particular and despite strong protests from many vigilant locals/NGOs in the past. In fact, a few prominent individuals from Saligao/Calangute were initially even sent on a sponsored “study tour” to Germany to somehow convince and make them support the then government’s evil plan (which they ultimately did later) of setting up the  plant atop the Saligao-Calangute plateau. 

The plant was set up and inaugurated with a lot of hype by the late Manohar Parrikar with the promise of treating garbage only from Saligao and the surrounding coastal areas, as the plant had the capacity of handling only 100 tonnes of garbage per day at that time. Unfortunately, the people of Saligao were backstabbed as the promise was never kept and trucks from across North Goa were allowed to bring in garbage at the Saligao plant.

Today the plant is a big nightmare for the Saligao villagers and with the recent expansion, allowing the plant to handle 250 tonnes of garbage daily. Things have gone from bad to worse. The plant is  not just emitting a foul smell but has  contaminated/polluted the area (though government officials keep denying it) and the ground water of most of the village wells, including the waters of the once famous Salmona Spring of Saligao.

Saligaokars should unite and say enough is enough and warn the MD of the Goa Waste Management Corporation not to transport more and more waste from the old Sonsodo plant to the Saligao plant. It is inviting long-term disaster and the lives of Saligao’s residents will be impacted badly.

— Jerry Fernandes, Saligao


DOCTORS’ BOND POLICY  
PRESENTLY, the law mandates that doctors sign a bond to serve in State hospitals after their undergraduate and postgraduate studies. Some States have relaxed the clause and permit the doctors to serve in hospitals in their home State. If they do not serve then they must pay a penalty as decided by the State and Union Territories.

Based on the recommendations made by the National Medical Commission, the Union health ministry is finalising guidelines to do away with the bond. It is a retrogressive step since the citizens are the losers, because there is a severe shortage of doctors in government hospitals and clinics. If the bond clause is removed the doctors will leave for greener pastures, with the gainers being the corporate and private hospitals. Doctors will also leave for further studies abroad or better jobs. In such cases the government should permit them after obtaining copies of admission letters and passport with stamped visa of the country where a doctor proposes to go.
 
In India, parents want their children to study in private schools and degree colleges, but when it comes to professional courses their first preference is for government colleges — as the fees are rock bottom vis-à-vis those in private ones. Since State and Central governments are subsidising the professional courses, the bond policy must be retained for the doctors, while engineering students should be recruited for 1-2 years as interns in government departments/ projects.

Without a bond policy the government is just a “supplier” of well-educated, trained and free manpower to private players. It is a worrisome kind of brain-drain and needs to be stopped.   

–Sridhar D’Iyer,           Caranzalem, Goa 

FESTIVAL OF IDEAS 

The skewered decision of the Goa government to abruptly postpone the 14th DD Kosambi Festival of Ideas, only exposes the perverted and twisted  minds of the BJP. The program which was scheduled to be held from 10th to 14th this month was initially postponed without any reason. Caught on the wrong foot, the government as an afterthought, cited lack of response from students as an excuse to wriggle out of the deeply flawed idea.

It is surprising that Arts & Culture Minister Govind Gaude succumbed to BJP pressure, clearly uneasy with the choice of speakers for this popular festival of idea. Govind Gaude, like the late Vishnu Surya Wagh, is known to be secular, outspoken and liberal minded. Has he changed after joining the BJP? Has he been tamed, reined in, put on a BJP leash and reduced to being merely the  master’s voice?

The BJP has run out of credible ideas to govern the nation in line with the fundamental principles of our Constitution as a secular nation, with liberty, equality and fraternity as the guiding principles. Our youth are our future and we have so much to learn from them and from each other. This is only possible through regular sharing of ideas in festivals and forums in an environment where people of all ages, especially our young people are encouraged, supported, and facilitated by government and various agencies to express themselves freely, without fear or favour. 

The Festival of Ideas should be replicated across the nation to energise the thought making process — to keep democracy and free exchange of views and opinions alive. We are known as the  world’s largest democracy, and so should we remain in letter and spirit, in word and in deed.

The BJP, desperate to silence the voices of our brilliant young people, would greatly benefit to heed the wise words of the late Bishop Desmond Tutu, a world-renowned human rights activist, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and winner of the Gandhi Peace prize when he said “Give young people a greater voice.  They are the future, and they are much wiser than we give them credit for.”

–Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar

One thought on “LETTER TO EDITOR FOR ISSUE DATED NOVEMBER 12 2022”

  1. RG is Saying To Shiv Sena Welcome To Goa. RG is saying that they are impressed with the Policy of Shiv Sena. Shiv Sena will get readymade MLA in Goa if RG Merged with the GOA Shiv Sena.

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