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Fr. Maverick Fernandes – Director, Caritas Goa

1-What do you think are the changes that have happened in Goa in the last four years and what do you see in the future of Goa in the next four years? 

 Goa is changing rapidly and to discuss about changes of the past four years sounds like discussing history. It is known that though the use of technology has increased positively in many aspects, there is also a surge in cyber crime.

No one will disagree that the image of our state is battered tremendously because of illicit activities operating through the casinos, spas, etc. Incidentally, the change in governments have also given a fillip to communal elements where through organised sammelans the secular democratic credentials enshrined in our Constitution are under severe attack. Hate speeches are not condemned but condoned. We all will agree that our state needs to be cleaner wherein our garbage is managed responsibly.

We would like that crimes against children and women are eliminated through a proper systematised program. The hydra of communal agenda to be uprooted in all the forms and secular programs be introduced in schools to create a generation that cherishes communal harmony. We would expect better image is created and projected to regain

2-What are the most critical issues working towards Goa’s advantage?

The Supreme Court imposed curbs on mining will hopefully lead to sensible manner of operations. We are aware that there are many families that are sincerely suffering due to the ban, we sympathise with them. There was a certain level of arrogance that was noticed on those roads.  One cannot however deny the fact that living in harmony with others and nature is possible today.

3-What are the most critical issues working towards Goa’s disadvantage?

Sadly, it is poor Garbage Management and the overall Infrastructure.

4-What does Goa need to do over the next four years to be recognised as a Global destination? 

Goa is a small state and consequently has limited space. We are not in a position to expand beyond the limits of our carrying capacity. Many European destinations have suffered miserably because they believed that they could go on and on by expanding their services, but they ended in disaster. The plan of the Government to bring 5.4 million tourists into Goa is utter madness. It would be tremendous stress on our resources.

We can be a global destination portraying our uniqueness for as much that we can manage not beyond our limits.

5-Are the people of Goa its biggest drawback or its biggest strength? 

People of Goa are known as laid back people and apparently have a very poor work culture when we are within the state. However, the same Goan would not mind to struggle it out to do odd jobs in another country when money flows easily to them. Unfortunately, the people have a very serious difficulty with the migrants who fill the vacuum created by the absence of the Goan in the state.

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