Milind Dande is a Project Manager at MicroStep-MIS, Dubai. He lived in Dubai for around two decades and has now moved back to Goa for personal reasons and continues to work remotely. He’s a visionary man and wants to do his bit for the betterment of India and its citizens. In conversation with Ila Dhond, Content Editor at GoaChronicle.com.
GoaChronicle.com: What according to you is the future of Goa?
Milind: There’s always a scope for improvement. But firstly, we need to get our basics right. I am not being skeptical on current development. I am just asking, do we really need high end projects over our basic needs? There’s no hygiene, reliable electricity, internet/ landline connectivity, pothole free roads, medical facilities. For example, GMC is our only hub for critical care in any medical emergencies. In case of emergencies, how a person is supposed to travel the distance from one end of Goa to Bambolim? There’s a facility made available of Ambulance, but it’s not maintained. It does not cost a lot to maintain already existing services. There are a lot of sectors that need to be improved. There’s no implementation of rules.Road safety is another killer: I am scared for my family’s well-being when they move out of home. We wear helmets to show to police, not protect our heads. It’s a fashion to be on phone while driving. It’s easy to walk away from issues. But there’s an opportunity for our youth to be shaped and polished in a right way to improve our future.
GoaChronicle.com: What were the difficulties you faced during Covid?
Milind: Lack of correct information through official channels. The Government was not responsive in the first place. The funds that were collected in the name of Covid were not made transparent. During this crisis, the people united and helped each other. Human spirit was at the peak. But unfortunately, Government did little with regard to the expectations citizens had.
GoaChronicle.com: Is India heading in the right direction?
Milind: There are a lot of positive changes that have been happening over the last couple of years. Different schemes have been successfully implemented for the poor. Covid has been a game changer in the way we operate and think. We do not take anything for granted now. This is the period of Innovation, something to come up with, which is out of the Box. Digitization is the key to transparency. Government should share public information freely while putting sufficient IT security policies in place.
GoaChronicle.com: How in your opinion is Goa CM handling the current situation?
Milind: Issues in Goa are not taken seriously. Elected representatives do not collectively work for the welfare of Goa, even the government does not speak one language, there is internal politics and different schools of thought. The interest to do something for the people of Goa always lacks. The focus is distorted. During Covid, Goa was a green zone. And then, the rest is history. Government wants to open tourism with Chartered flights, Casinos, while we cannot handle the current covid case load and patients are left on stretchers and on floor due to lack of beds. In my opinion, Casinos are something that Goa can live without. It is not a necessity for tourism. Certain sectors bring more drawbacks than the benefits.
GoaChronicle.com: What according to you is hindering the progress of India?
Milind: We launch fancy schemes but fail in their implementation. I lived in Dubai for around two decades. There, the resources are well maintained, which is commendable. Here in India, we fail to maintain the facilities that are made available to us. For example: CCTV cameras, Bus Shelters, Public Toilets, Changing Rooms are inaugurated but are not maintained in long term. There is no long term commitment. Nothing is transparent nor accountable. Our leaders behave like dictators, even though India is a democratic country. The attitude is the problem. Leaders do not consider themselves Public Servants. The response is unacceptable. On their part, the public too needs to take the initiative and do their bit. People have to take ownership. It’s a vicious cycle unless we all contribute to put things right.