Citizen Talks

Believe in being different

Afran Shaikh is a graduate from Rosary College of Commerce and Arts, Navelim, Goa. He took up a course in Digital Marketing at Pune and now works as a Digital Marketer at Box Media Goa. He plans to move to Dubai for better opportunities. In conversation with Ila Dhond, Content Editor at What opportunities do you see in Goa?

Afran: Goa is a state of tourism. Now it’s been turning towards Technology. Goa plans to bring IT hub here which is a hope for employment. As a result, people will not move out of Goa. Opportunities will be in their state. In terms of politics, Goa needs a better leader. Laws need to be changed. There always has been racial discrimination in India before and after Independence. Politics must not involve discrimination of any kind. Again religion is a basis of votes. People voting leaders of their religion is something I disagree with. What were the difficulties you faced during Covid?

Afran: When the lockdown was announced, I went around Margao to look for basic resources. Lockdown was a surprise and was announced at the last moment. Medicines were limited. Also, there was a delay in salaries. Adding to it, my niece was born amidst lockdown. We faced issues in hospital. I myself experienced depression and anxiety. Fatigue was hard to deal with. The only good thing being, Ramadan went smooth. There was no distraction, no work which was a blessing in disguise. Do you think India is heading in the right direction?

Afran: In my opinion, it is a straight “NO”. India can probably do better. The parties in India involves religion in politics. They do not work for the people. Delhi has improved, people are developed. Development there is tough because of ruling party. Also strict ciber laws need to be implemented. People are spreading hate there. That’s a misuse. However, AAP has taken good initiatives for women like Free metro rides. India has a potential. The youth is the power at the same time they need direction. Why did you choose Digital Marketing as a profession?

Afran: I was never a nerd. I like interacting with people. I tried sales during second year. I developed skills. Communication is no lesser than a skill. I did not find college syllabus interesting. I am a thinker. I liked the subjects that made me think. Digital Marketing has a potential, It’s a skill based job. It’s all about imagination and I take it as a challenge. How according to you, Goa CM is handling the situation?

Afran: The IT sector is doing better. Challan, bills are made online. This sector is being developed. But the Mollem deforestation is wrong in my opinion. Destroying forest will only worsen the state. No party is taking an initiative to save Mollem. The initiatives are taken by Goans. Development can be implemented in other ways. There’s illegal construction at sansodo, why don’t they stop that? There are slums in panjim and vasco. These places are unhygienic. Why don’t they improve that? Covid cases are rising. CM had taken us into confidence but eventually opened the gates under pressure. That was not at all a good move. It should have been planned and strategized. There are no good medical facilities in Goa. My relative, who had Pneumonia was kept in Covid ward. What according to you is hindering the growth of India?

Afran: Delusion of rich. Politicians only work for the rich. Bigger chunk always goes to the rich and the poor have to settle for the bread crumbs. CAA was a good initiative but why do they always categorise? My community always have to face discrimination. Respect is foreign to us. Take my example for it- When I went to the ticketing office, and wrote my name, the guy spoke to me at the doorstep and others were called inside. The houses in Bihar are attacked. Mosque was destroyed. People who had orange flags were spared. People are lynched for eating beef. Beef is eaten in other countries as well. Why Indians treat them with respect? Why do people move out of India?

Afran: It’s the needs that let people leave their country. Abroad has better education system, Health care facilities are well too. There are more opportunities there than India. But even if I plan to move out to Dubai, I would always want to come back to India.

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