Ajit JohnIt is said the only thing constant with time is change and for India’s sunshine state Goa, this is no exception. The Portuguese colonial ambience has faded away to Bollywood style culture. The very things that once attracted people, the beautiful sandy beaches, palm tree landscapes, paddy fields, Portuguese style colonial houses, serene villages and the “Susegad” culture are the ones likely to get destroyed with the increased tourism and migration into the state. Against this whole backdropone wonders what is in store for Goa in the next 5 years and beyond. We hope that all the stakeholders and the custodians of “Brand Goa” will be committed to the sustainable future of Goa and strive to be forces for good within their surrounding communities and environment. This will be the only realistic way forward.- Alwyn Henriques, President, Goan Overseas Association NSW, SydneyGoa is not just a ‘far away place’, it is our homeland, the place where our roots lie, the place that’s deep in our hearts. I still have vivid memories about the Goa that I left 20+ years ago. Each time I returned, I had tears of sorrow in my eyes, and a lump in my throat. Instead of things getting better, I was saddened to see my beloved homeland change for the worse. It is never too late for things to change and get better. I would love to see a cleaner, developed Goa. A Goa devoid of the Casino boats in the rivers, and the concrete monstrosities that are blooming on the hills. I would love to see cleaner beaches and market places, besides the results of better planning in the cities and towns.- Salus Correia, MelbourneGoa is in desperate need of healing. The political class are destroying the once so beautiful Goa and for all it stands for. In a few years if not sooner Goa will no longer be for Goan’s, instead outsiders will take over and push the Goan’s around to bring them to their knees. Goa can only be saved if all Goan’s stand united in one voice and make it clear that they will not stand for the government’s tyranny. The good memories I have of Goa were of the simpler days where people didn’t have much but there was a lot of love for one another to go around. Neighbours helping neighbours, no boundary walls dividing people and everyone was mostly united. Goa was safe and secure which is not the case today. In 5 years I would like to see Goa to belong back in the hands of Goan’s. Political class put in their place and not worshiped. Natural beauty is maintained by stopping all illegal and destructive projects.- Graca Lobo, DubaiHow do Goans living outside look at Goa, well there are different views depending on how they have experienced Goa. For some, their “newfoundland” is like paradise, but as the years go by, they realize the worth of our Goa, its traditions, it’s culture etc. For many, it is a yearning to be back in Goa. But most would like to see the ease of living, low levels of corruption, order and systems they experience in the first world countries, to be incorporated into Goa. Many, then, are very keen to come back to Goa. With regards to memories, having been to quite a few countries, I find the Goa that we knew, especially in the 70’s to the 90’s was quintessentially exceptional. It was a modern Goa which still had the ethos and trappings of the Goa of old. Today, Goa is on the decline because of the concretization of the land and because of the change of demographics. Those who have left Goa for “better prospects” especially to the UK etc, need to re-invest in Goa for their own good; reinvest time, money, culture, ethos etc. With regards to how I would like to see Goa in five years, the first thing is we need to see more true Goans in Goa. Having earned abroad, they should head back to Goa. Goa is in desperate need of its own people to be there and to be the change. A young, less corrupt and sane government would also be an essential. Goa’s natural beauty and environment must be protected from concretization for the generations to come. Goa already has a sufficient amount of modernization, but corruption has to be minimized and preservation of our unique age-old culture is a must.- Blaise Fernandes, AdelaideHaving been born in the mid 70s and lived in Goa till late 2000, I feel this was the period that anyone who has lived here could call themselves as the lucky ones, we saw the best in terms of traditions, communal harmony, culture and peace. This was also a period where Niz Goenkar received the respect they deserved. Having visited a few countries in the past I still say Goa is the best place to be. My memories of Goa are really warm. The family and friends, who you could visit without an invite, work hard during the day and party hard at night, leave your house unattended anytime and still feel safe. The long walks through lush green fields or the evenings spent on the beach watch the sun go down. In five years, I would like to bring back communal harmony and respect for each other, practice true Goenkarponn, stop unplanned development, enough damage is done to Goa through concretization, enough trees or forest cover is destroyed to make way for selfish motives. A government that understands the pulse of and listens to the needs of its citizens. Goa has over the years attracted tourists for its peace loving people, natural beauty and ofcourse its churches, temples and mosques, but slowly the natural beauty, heritage sites are destroyed. - Frankey Fernandes, Melbourne It has changed over the years; it’s never assumed as the Goa of yesteryear.. The fabric of society has changed and the value system based on trust , simplicity and honesty is slowly slumping. It’s still a great holiday and fun destination however the politicians should look at it as a place they have inherited from their children and if they will leave it a better place when they hand it back to them after their reign.. Most of them look at it in the short term with the grandiose visions sacrificed in the greed for quick money by dubious means. My memories are wonderful. My memories of Goa besides the beautiful beaches, springs, flora and fauna are of joy and happiness in whatever we did as kids and in our adult days ... The simple yet warm greetings and pleasantries to people we met in markets or neighbourhoods. We felt a genuine concern about the well being of all in the locality and this was irrespective of whether he was a Goan or not. I can recollect a million memories from Goa which bring a smile to me. My statement always when I meet a new person I say you can take a Goan out of Goa but never the Goa out of me... Cheers to that I am blessed by God to be born and brought up in Goa. In five years, I would like to see an eco-friendly and sustainable Goa where the people and govt. accept the realities of modernisation and managing the environment responsibly.. There is never going to be another Goa if we can’t take care of it. I want my Goal to be promoting industries and avenues to unemployed fellow go and opportunities to be employed beyond the tourism sector . We have the best brains and if we are serious on delivery with collective growth not the shortcut quick money options we can achieve huge successes.I want my Goa to nurture the future generations just the way it has nurtured me and have kept me grounded till this day as I live abroad.
- Paxwell Pereira, UAE