WEEKEND UPDATES

HAPPY BIRTHDAY `NAVHIND TIMES’

`THE NAVHIND TIMES’ CELEBRATES 60th ANNIVERSARY: It was a jubilant and gala celebration at a five-star venue on February 18, 2023. Present at the celebration were former president of India Ram Nath Kovind, Governor of Goa P S Sreedharan Pillai, Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant, chairperson of the Dempo Group of Companies Shrinivas V Dempo, executive director of Navhind Papers & Publications Pallavi Dempo, Postmaster-General (Goa region) Sayeed Rashid, editor of ‘The Navhind Times’ N Venkateswaran, publisher Pramod Revankar and many special invitees and guests. The popular English newspaper’s history dates back to its establishment in 1963 with the motto of “The Newspaper You Can Trust.” Dempo Group chairperson Shrinivas Dempo in his short address reminded everyone that the paper was a legacy of his grandfather, the late Vasantrao Dempo who launched it along with his late brother Vaikunthrao Dempo, with co-founder, his father Vasudeva Dempo. `The Navhind Times’ has witnessed and reported on Goa’s post-Liberation historic events. He was happy that the paper has withstood the test of time and more so the covid-19 pandemic lockdowns.

By Tara Narayan

GOA’s leading daily The Navhind Times’ celebrated its 60th birthday of arrival on February 18, 2023 and I for one would like to wish it a happy birthday! Never mind that I was not there to celebrate the life and times of one of Goa’s well-read newspapers which survived the corona virus pandemic lockdowns – in spirit I was there to raise a toast to the substance and style of Pallavi Dempo, who oversees the paper today and does such a even-tempered job of it. Women always make a difference even in the media business for they have a more balanced mind (agree to disagree with me if you like)! And what Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said at the The Navhind Times celebration is true, most of us like to begin the day with a newspaper in our hands, black and white is more reassuring and credible. Most old-timers I know will still insist for a newspaper in the morning with a cup of tea or coffee in hand, to glean the day’s news. Seniors including me don’t like to burn our eyes on the radiation screens of today’s high-powered android hand phones or the more sophisticated expensive variety! I would also like to remember that The Navhind Times has always had a good heart. When Rajan Narayan’s political weekly The Goan Observer started out bravely in 2003 it got the blessings of mining baron, publisher and philanthropist Srinivas Dempo. When I first came to Goa after 30 years in Mumbai which was Bombay, corresponding mostly for some of its tabloid newspaper likeMid-Day,’ The Daily” andThe Afternoon Despatch & Courier’…hubby Rajan Narayan had suggested I apply for a job with The Navhind Times – and I didn’t listen. Today, I wish I had!
For I have more affection for The Navhind Times than any other paper in Goa – it is the only paper which generously reviewed my second collection of poetry “A Letter to God & Other Poems” published a couple of months ago. I feel so thankful to the gracious Pallavi Dempo and editor Venkateswaran Narayanan.
I feel this keenly as does Rajan, especially after his 20 years of editing the OHeraldo’ with single-minded devotion through the 80s and 90s, turning it into Goa’s first real investigative daily. Never fearing to light political fires for the larger good of Goa and for which he pays the bitter price to this day. Let’s say all that is done with now and new parameters have crept into media for practical, pragmatic reasons. Say I am biased but I thinkThe Navhind Times’ is doing good. It is important that the media continues to present the news steadily and faithfully, leaving readers to read in between the lines for more profound truths. So happy 60th birthday `Navhind Times’ and more power to you as diamond turns to platinum in the years to come!

FIRES LIT BY REAL ESTATE?

FOR the third day the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary in Goa continues to burn. Not just Mhadei but many parts of Goa have literally caught fire. There have been 200 incidents of fire in the last 36 hours alone. Among the forested areas affected are the Parra-Arpora hilltop, Consua in south Goa, cashew plantations in Bicholim and forest fires have been raging on a Dharmapur hill.

There are suspicions that the fires in the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary were deliberately lit by vested interests. Both the Navy and the Air Force are helping to put out the fires. The fires are also being attributed to the sharp increase in temperature which went up to 38 degree centigrade on March 8, 2023.

HOLIDAY FOR MENSTRUATION!

COINCIDING with Women’s Day on March 8, 2023 the Kerala government has decided to provide paid leave for government servants, employees of the private sector and the students community when they get their monthly period! The Kerala government has also decided that every school must have a private space for women to use during menstruation time. It is hard to say whether women will like this or dislike this new right to menstruation holidays in Kerala.  

MHADEI CATCHES FIRE

LARGE parts of Mhadei wildlife sanctuary were set on fire on Monday, March 6 2023. This has led to extensive damage to flora and fauna and it is widely suspected that the fires were deliberately lit. Now forest officers are probing to verify the truth of this. Needless to say the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary is the biggest victim of the diversion of Mhadei river headwaters in Karnataka in the Western Ghat hills close to the Goa border areas.  

MIGRANTS WORLD CUP!

GOA seems to be the only state in the country where there have been no clashes between locals and migrants. On the contrary migrants from any part of the country from Jharkhand to Bihar to the Northeast live in peace and other in the other states migrants are welcome with their families in tow. This is especially because the migrant wives fill the huge demand for domestic maids in most Goan homes. This way life becomes more viable economically for both husband and wife with enough income to reinforce their property back in their home state. This is in sharp contrast to states like Tamil Nadu where it is now being alleged that  migrants from Bihar are harassed – what is alarming is that this allegation is now believed to be cooked up for political reasons. There is so much fake news making the rounds and most people are not conscious of this.

WOMEN PWD CHIEF

COINCIDING with Women’s Day, Goa got its first women chief engineer Angelica Leana Oderra Sarita Da Silva in the public sector. She has been appointed Chief Engineer of the Public Works Department. She is the first women chief engineer appointed to take charge of the PWD, since Liberation.

UNIFORM HOUSE TAX

THE government was decided that all commercial establishments will be charged a uniform house tax from now onwards. Irrespective of what business they are engaged in. Till recently the tax was based on the nature of the business being done, to what purpose the premises was used. The consequence was that the cost of house tax and commercial activity came down sharply. The objective is to encourage payment of large amounts of arrears which are pending.

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