TO mark the observance of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, Minister for Social Welfare Subhash Phal Dessai, inaugurated a program with the release of balloons on June 26, 2024 at the KTC Bus Stand in Panaji. The event was organized by the Directorate of Social Welfare in collaboration with the NGO Human Touch.   Addressing the students  Subhash Phal Dessai emphasized the importance of involving students in programs create awareness about the dangers of drug use and addiction. He stressed that educating and sensitizing teenagers about the perils of drugs is crucial, as youth are the future leaders of society and can influence others positively.

          Highlighting that India is the youngest country, with 65 percent of its population under the age of 35, Minister Phaldesai noted that while the young people are brimming with knowledge, creativity and potential, it is essential to steer them away from drugs. It must be No to drugs. Referring to Prime Minister Modi’s vision for a “Vikasit Bharat 2047” (Developed India 2047), Phaldesai opined that in the next 20 years, India will emerge as one of the most advanced dynamic nations. Towards this there’s need to harness the creativity of youth and train them in how to achieve their dreams. A film by Jyoti Kunkolienkar — “Kalkhi Vaat” — addressing the issue of drug trafficking will be screened in colleges, higher secondary schools to educate the young generation.

Present for the function were Director of the Directorate of Social Welfare  Ajit Panchwadkar, Social Welfare Secretary E Vallavan (IAS), Dr Sijo George (senior program officer for the Nasha Mukta Bharat Abhiyan, under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India) and Amisha Yadav (State coordinator for the Project Management Unit–PMU)


SPARKING IDEAS AND INSPIRING CHANGE IN GOA: The inaugural TEDxMargao event is all set to take place on June 30, 2024 at Ravindra Bhavan, Margao. This independently organized event, licensed by TED, gathers a diverse group of thinkers, innovators and change-makers from Goa and beyond to share inspiring ideas and stories under the theme “Breaking Barriers.” This TEDxMargao promises a line-up of inspiring speakers, including distinguished personalities such as Katya Coelho, a 19-time national gold medalist in windsurfing; Mario Fernandes, a renowned free-diving athlete; Varun Carvalho, a musician famous for his FC Goa anthem, and Kedar Borker, co-founder of Soul Travelling. Their talks will cover a wide range of topics like overcoming obstacles, inclusive tourism, a metaphorical journey from darkness to light. Those who make ait will get a unique opportunity to engage with thought-provoking speakers, there will be performances and interactive sessions designed to stimulate discussion and ignite curiosity. One of the event’s highlights is the Innovation Hub where attendees can discover remarkable talent and innovative solutions developed by local Goan visionaries. This experimental area will showcase the groundbreaking work of six local innovators. Witness firsthand the creativity and ingenuity thriving within the Goan community!
Plus, plus TEDxMargao will see powerhouse performances by fadista Nadia Rebelo, Siddharth Cota, Samuel Afonso Alan D’Souza, among others who will highlight Goa’s rich cultural heritage. As part of the global TEDx community, TEDxMargao connects our local audience to a worldwide network of ideas and initiatives. Tickets for TEDxMargao are available now at www.tedxmargao.com. Visit website at www.tedxmargao.com.


WHY are signages not given importance in capital city Panjim? This can lead to accidents like the accident which took place on Old Patto Bridge on Wednesday, June 26, 2024 due to signages. Without clear signs put up the bridge has become a scene of chaos and accidents.

 Road safety needs to give importance and hold whoever is responsible accountable for not doing their job. Government and CCP people take money from public and even fines public for not following rules. Who fines the RTO when signages are not in place properly and accidents happen, especially with tourists who are lost and they get confused. Will anybody in the RTO take the matter of signages in Panjim seriously?

–Cecile Rodriguez, Taleigao  


Deepavali is celebrated as the festival of lights but now it has become a tamasha, instead of being a festival of lights it has become a festival of noise, where noisy crackers disturb the peace and pollute the environment. People, especially teenagers, should understand the significance of this festival and spread the peaceful message of Deepavali through love and friendship.

Instead of wasting money on crackers, let us use that amount to bring a smile to the faces of those who don’t have anyone to celebrate the festival with. May the festival of lights be the harbinger of joy and prosperity for everyone. Let us celebrate this festival by enlightening the lives of the street children, child beggars, senior citizens and the children who are labourers by celebrating the festival with sweets and games, with our neighbours and people who serve us like the newspaper delivery boys, child workers, sweepers, etc. Let us enkindle in them the light and joy of the festival.

–Cajetan Peter D’Souza, Mumbai


THE  United Kingdom is inching towards the July 4 General Elections which will decide who assumes the reins of the next British government. The ruling Conservative party currently led by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is gearing up for a drubbing, this is now certain and inevitable. A political tsunami will unseat Rishi Sunak who by all standards has made a string of political goof-ups, some even during this high pitch election campaign.

The people at large who are reeling under political fatigue and economic challenges after the 14-year-old Conservative rule, seem to be leaning to the Labour Party which is all set to assume power.

Elections are overseen by an independent body. The Electoral Commission also regulates political finance to ensure the integrity of the democratic process in a very transparent manner, with no room for any manipulation whatsoever. The entire bureaucracy is free from political interference.

And with voting using the age-old ballot papers, with counting taking place almost immediately after the poll closes and results declared within a matter of hours, there is no room for controversy about EVMs and their genuineness.

The people have high expectations that the new government will take steps to rescue the United Kingdom from the current economic crisis with a stable pragmatic leadership intent on helping the many, not just the few. Only time will tell.

–Aires Rodrigues, London

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