Stephanie D’sa Colaco is an online content writer. She has been in Goa since the past five years. In conversation with Susparsha Gaikwad, Reporter at Goachronicle.com.
Goachronicle.com: How did the COVID-19 pandemic impact your life?
Stephanie: The COVID-19 lockdown took a toll on me emotionally as well as economically. Isolation during the lockdown was a difficult phase. I went into depression. I work as a content writer, my work is online. But if there is a financial sump in the companies there will be no job for content writing as well. It did affect my economic condition.
Goachronicle.com: How do you think CM Mr. Pramod Sawant handled the pandemic situation in Goa?
Stephanie: I think the initial decisions made by the CM were haphazard. People did not have time to stock up essentials before the lockdown. Also the guidelines on moving in and out of Goa were not clear. When in a crisis situation, it is the duty of the government to prescribe apt guidelines for its citizens. Whereas the guidelines prescribed by the government about movement in and out of Goa were pretty much confusing. It created much chaos among people. I found the decision quiet arbitrary.
Goachronicle.com: Do you think India is heading in the right direction?
Stephanie: Well, this is a subjective question. Prioritising the current situation with the pandemic hitting the country and the GDP falling I would not say we are actually heading in the right direction. Many people have gone jobless within the past few months. These are the current pressure points that need to be addressed. Focus needs to shift towards addressing these issues rather than discussing issues like CAA which is not mandatory right now. Prioritising is mandatory.
Goachronicle.com: What according to you are the factors that impact India’s growth?
Stephanie: Major factor I would say is the ‘us v/s them’ philosophy that is prevalent among the people of India. India is supposed to be a secular nation. But the way people stand divided on the basis of their religion, it doesn’t seem like we are a secular nation. Citizens stand against each other. Rather than focusing on individual growth we are more focussed on what the other person is doing. Secondly, youth of the country needs to be channelized in the right direction. Facts like examinations not being held on time, and fewer job prospects after completing education are standing in way of India’s growth. The entire world is facing the COVID-19 pandemic but the real pandemic that India needs to address is the rising number of rape cases in India. They have just been getting brutal day by day. Lack of empathetic education is another factor that hampers our growth as a nation. Also, women in the country are treated as second class citizens.
Goachronicle.com: What can be done to address the issues that India is facing today?
Stephanie: We basically need to hire right kind of people to run the country. People who know how to run the country. A country cannot be run on a trial and error basis as it is being run now. Also the low GDP is not merely a consequence of the pandemic, we have been building it up over the period of time. At an individual level, I feel civic sense is extremely important. Simple things like wearing a mask during the tough COVID-19 times need to be imbibed among each and every individual. People need to ask questions to those running the country. Until and unless we voice out our queries and opinions we will never know what is happening. Each citizen has a right to hold the elected government accountable for not being fair towards their job. Whereas the elected candidates need to fulfil their responsibilities towards the nation.