IT WAS WOMEN’S INTERNATIONAL DAY: Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant witnessed the celebrations at the New Durbar Hall, Raj Bhavan, on March 9, 2023 which commenced with the lighting of the ceremonial traditional lamp. Afterwards he congratulated women from across the state and gave away awards to 40 Goan women for shouldering responsibility, inculcating good manners in children and students, doing their bit to combat and erase violence from an early age and much more. The CM also stressed upon the importance of regular physical activity for women so that they may stay fit and healthy, “If women’s keep fit themselves then they will succeed to keep their family fit.”
Present on the occasion to contribute to the conversation were Taleigao MLA Jennifer Monserrate and Poriem MLA Divya Rane, Sandhya Kamat (director, Social Welfare, who outlined various government schemes), Juliana Lohar (of NGO, ARZ, who spoke of prevention, protection and rehabilitation of commercial sex victims), Dr Kalpa Govekar (consultant-psychiatrist who gave a talk on menatal wellbeing), Sunita Sawant (superintendent of police), Sonia Arondekar (gymnast), Jigyasa (representative from Bank of Baroda). Radhika Prabhu Desai,Vijay Saxena (director of planning, statistics and evaluation) and Rajesh Kumar Jha (manager, Bank of Baroda). Kanya Rupesh Naik presented Ganesh Vandana and the Kartik Group presented a culgural program compered by Karuna Satardekar.
The awardees were Bhakti Kulkarni, Katya Coelho, Acchita Shirodkar, Sneha Yadav, Samrudhi Patil, Sakshi Kale, Pereira, Ema Patil, Dr Rebello, Babita Zore, Deepa, Dr Anuja Naik, Avina Andre, Bharati Naik, Mehak Sayyad, Surekha Chodankar, Meghana Naik, Amita Naik, Soniya Arondekar, Akansha Naik, Rasika Khandeparkar, Rashida Mujawar, Veera Naik, Ranjita Pai, Anjalika, Betty Dourado, Sarita Chimulkar, Priti Sadekar, Ruchali Cardozo, Noma D’Mello, Smita Sawant, Shweta Gaonkar, Richa Govekar, Gauri Dhavalikar, Nilam Marathe, Geeta Tandel, Ismania Costa Vaz, Tulsi Parwar, Indumati Chitari, Mamita Volvoikar, Pramila Khandeparkar and others.
MANDOVI RIVER BRIDGE CHAOS!
IT is amazing how people are driving and manoeuvring their vehicles below the Mandovi river bridges! One can observe a variety of vehicles – bicycles, two-wheelers, auto-rickshaws, cars, buses, et al. There are multiple intersecting roads with erratically and moody working signals at Divja Circle where the traffic movement is a complete mess.
Several roads meet and diverge at the foot of the Atal Setu, some go to Panaji City, St Cruz, Merces, Chimbel and the Bambolim-Margao-Vasco highway. Added to the confusion are the buses and vehicles that exit from the Kadamba Terminus.
Traffic cops are a rarity and even if they are present they tend to stop two-wheeler drivers without helmets or with yellow number plates. There are no traffic signals or speed breakers or proper signages. Hopefully the authorities will tackle the issues on a war footing and find a solution to the prevailing chaos.
–Sridhar D’Iyer, Caranzalem
SUPREME COURT SLAP
THE Supreme Court verdict dismissing public interest litigation (PIL) filed by BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, seeking renaming of cities/historical places across the country, has come like a tight slap for frenzied activists pressing in vain to re-name Margao to Mathgram, Chandor to Chandrapur and Vasco-da-Gama to Sambhajinagar in Goa.
Currently the people are being faced with so many serious problems in the state, that is corruption, unemployment, inflation, etc, and it’s a shame to see self-styled “bhekaar” activists fighting to rename villages/cities to disturb the centuries old communal harmony of today’s 21st century in Goa!
Will Goa turn into heaven after existing names are re-named? Will our elected politicians become less corrupt after this exercise and stop the destruction of Goa going on currently and defend the unique identity of Goa? I doubt it.
These sick activists should instead concentrate on raising real issues which affect us all like the Mhadei river diversion, impact of casinos, drugs, prostitution, easy availability of unlimited booze every few metres in the state, etc. Please don’t waste time fighting to rename our villages/cities at the behest of divisive political bosses and divide Goans along religious lines. Viva Goa! Viva Goenkar!
—Jerry Fernandes, Saligao
FESTIVAL OF DUST!
SMART city Panaji’s residents and carnival revellers are stirring up dust in their wake! Panaji is the most hazardous smart currently. Holi this year was not a festival of color but sandy dust blowing all around in the midst of traffic jams and street celebrations. Holi colors mixed with sand, dust and pollution and everyone had to look for protection.
Holi over with is the shigmo revelry going to be any different? And if it rains (as is being forecast) Panaji will end up hosting a Chikal Kalo — monsoon mud festival celebrated at Marcel in the middle of the monsoon rains — prematurely. Panjimites will get an early taste of this festival’s mud and may as well go in for mud-wrestling too.
Clearly our politicians are responsible the present mess and their incompetent contractors who are hand in glove with both wrestlers trying to wrestle away maximum from public coffers in the name of smart city development.
The suffering residents of capital city Panaji are tired of wrestling deteriorating public infrastructure along with their deteriorating safety and health due to inconvenience of negotiating the dug-up and collapsed public roads and lanes all over.
Instead of having a smart city we have a dust bowl with craters and road collapses creating a myriad diversions. Any number of festivals can make Ponjekars feel like celebrating or revelling in anything in a sinking Panaji!
–Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar