LETTER TO THE EDITOR FOR ISSUE DATED SEPTEMBER 09 2023

MENTORSHIP PROGRAM FOR WOMEN

The Women’s Wing of the GCCI officially launched its mentorship program on Saturday, September 2, 2023 at the Surendrababu Timblo Convention Hall in Panaji. This program is supported by the Bank of India (Zonal Office, Panjim, Goa).
The event was inaugurated by chief guest, Sulakshana Sawant, and was graced by the presence of GCCI president, Shrinivas Dempo, Pratima Dhond (vice president) and Sanjay Amonkar (director general). Rahila Khan hosted the event while
WW chairperson Asha Arondekar welcomed everyone and provided insights into the mentorship program. She also presented a token of appreciation to the chief guest Sulakshana Sawant.
The ten distinguished mentors selected and trained were introduced by Gouri Joshi and advocate Poonam Ajgaonkar. These mentors are: Christabel Menezes from Panjim, Tushar Sawant from Margao, Siddhi Porob from Sanquelim, Priti Kerkar from the neighboring villages of Margao, Shweta Harmalkar from Parra, Rina Baretto from Taleigao, Pratiksha Chanankar from Bicholim, Gautam Kharangate from Porvorim, Sneha Bhandare from Vasco da Gama and Priti Narkar from Ponda. All of them were felicitated by GCCI president.

SMART CITY HAVOC

VERY sad to note here that capital city Panaji has already turned into a mess and is on its way to decaying. Roads, streets and footpaths are in a most deplorable condition with tiles being pushed aside by pedestrians unable to negotiate their broken condition. Obstruction by trees on footpaths is another problem. Even these fallen trees lie unattended for days together while the authorities sleep.
We see dogs, cows, buffaloes roaming everywhere, pooping all over what were once upon a time pedestrian walkways. The roads sport innumerable potholes and CCP workers are seen working on them with no tangible results. Can we call Panaji a smart city anymore?
Just recently I saw some contract workers from a company from Kolbro Group Pvt Ltd (photo enclosed) attending to repair work with no government official supervising them. They will be doing their work up to Dona Paula and soon after the defects will manifest themselves, requiring repairs all over again. This cemented road starting from Miramar to Dona Paula which was asphalted is already showing signs of decay. I had told the authorities during the beginning of the asphalting that this whole stretch of road would sink one day as this area was originally meant to accumulate sea water, and would not be able to stand the burden of the traffic. What I have said is coming true now.
The CCP is forever engaging labourers and the poor fellows stand in the hot sun attempting to do their work as they see fit. This is how roadways will remain like a curse upon Panjim and us and never really qualify as motorable roads.
Smart City is really foolishness as Panjim is slowly sinking. There are no barely any clean gutters left for draining water into rivers or creeks and with little showers rain water accumulates everywhere. It is a permanent headache for the CCP to commission work without having any solution and that too after making merry with the taxpayers money!
—Stephen Dias, Dona Paula.

MODI SCARED OF I.N.D.I.A.
PRIME Minister Narendra Modi is now thinking of bringing in a resolution renaming India as Bharat during the upcoming special session of Parliament (scheduled from Sept 18 to 22) with the sole intention of somehow distracting people from all the failures of his government.
The Supreme Court in its 2016 judgement has clearly said that “The Indian citizens are free to call their country as India or Bharat as per their wishes,” whilst dismissing a PIL which sought a direction for India to be called as Bharat. So again the Modi government is still trying to rename India as Bharat and that too after nine years, just before the fast-approaching 2024 Lok Sabha elections?
If the Modi government is really allergic or not comfortable with India all this while, why then come out with programs/schemes like Digital India, Start-up India, Make in India, etc, right from 2014 to woo all the upcoming talented guys of Indian companies (including those from foreign countries) to our country?
The reason why the Modi government is desperately trying to rename India as Bharat is not to bring back an original old name of today’s India (as claimed by Modi bhakts) but because it currently is scared/disturbed, seeing the unity of the I.N.D.I.A. alliance and its growing popularity in some parts of India.
—Jerry Fernandes, Saligao

TO OUR TEACHERS WE OWE ALL!
NOT just on Teacher’s Day on September 5 but every day we need to remember our dear teachers, for the role they play in shaping our future. All through school and up to the very completion of my Law degree, I was tremendously blessed with ever-so caring and loving teachers, who taught with a dedicated sense of hope, passion, motivation and focused direction. Throughout my student days, they always encouraged me in extra-curricular activities paving my way to participate in elocution, debating and essay contests all along.
Great teachers can make a big difference in our lives, for besides making a lasting impression in the classroom, they can cast a very positive influence on our life. Our teachers are more than mere educators. They also play that vital role as a dear friend, counsellor and mentor.
A regular teacher may merely direct us along the right path, but great teachers inspire and challenge us to carve out the right path in life. And I was blessed with teachers for whom teaching was an extremely solemn mission and not a mere profession. And for this, God will always bless them.
Ever so humbly, we should always remain heavily beholden to all our dear teachers who imparted to us all their invaluable knowledge and guidance that has immensely helped us in life. To them all, ever so indebted and grateful, we should always be. Thank you, Teachers, for your time and efforts in your noble profession, to bring out the best in all of us. No words are enough to express our gratitude to teachers!
As Henry Brooks Adams, historian and politician once observed, “Teachers affect eternity.” No one can tell where their influence stops. Bill Gates accurately opined that “Technology is just a tool in terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, but that the Teacher is the most important.”
—Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar

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