it annual spiritual event
Around 23,000 faithful from across Goa participated in the ‘Walking Pilgrimage’ planned by the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman on the first Sunday of Lent. Devotees from 19 deaneries and from all parishes and chapels from the Archdiocese of Goa participated in the pilgrimage which commenced in the wee hours and culminated at the old church at Sancoale. Such a huge crowd took the organisers by surprise. But the organising committee did a tremendous job in ensuring the success of the pilgrimage walk, the first of its kind in Goa.
The police, the volunteers, the medical staff among others did a great job in seeing that everything went on smoothly. Given the tremendous response that the spiritual event received from the faithful, the pilgrimage walk could be made an annual feature during the Lenten season.
However, there are some issues that need to be looked into in future. The seating arrangement for the Eucharistic Celebrations needs to be increased by putting up several more chairs. After walking for a long distance people would want to sit during the services. People were seen either standing or squatting on the ground. Several elderly people who took part in the walk had to be treated for fatigue and other conditions, many of whom could have been heart patients.
It would be desirable to have a shorter distance earmarked for the senior citizens, who can join the main group on the way during the pilgrimage walk.
It is well known that Goans love fish. It is part of our daily diet. Centuries ago, our ancestors developed the habit of eating fish due to which we and our cats have it in our genes today. It is part of Goenkarponn. But the prices of fish have risen shockingly. The price of a vantto (share) of prawns is Rs 500, that of a small kingfish Rs 1000 and a pair of pomfrets Rs 1500.
How on earth can a common consumer spend thousands of rupees on fish alone?
Our government had promised to make fish available to the people at affordable rates but nothing concrete has happened so far. A fish van which used to come to our village periodically to sell fish has stopped coming for over a year now.
We appreciate the building of bridges and flyovers but what the common man is more concerned about is the cost of food. If our MLAs are truly concerned about the people of Goa and Goenkarponn, which they say they are, they should put their heads together and address this serious problem of fish by making it available at affordable rates.
By announcing a seven-phase election, the Election Commission of India (EC) has set the tone for a feverish campaign to reach a crescendo, and culminate within one month. On May 23, we would most probably know who will be the next Prime Minister of India unless of course there is a Hung Parliament.
The EC has an enormous task of smooth conduct of the polls which promises to be one of the most severely fought ones in recent times. Contrary to what many people believe, holding elections in India is a gigantic responsibility because of remote regions, unheard of connectivity, safety threat to booth officers and other logistics. Due to the huge requirement of manpower, the EC finds it convenient, and reasonably so, to arrange for multi-phased elections.
This time, the prudent use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), which have come under attack from political parties, will be on test. The EC has rightly decided to use the Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) across the country. A mammoth seventeen lakh VVPATs will be in place. The Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is another issue which virtually has no takers in political parties. Flouting the code of conduct has become very common and, therefore, whether or not rules and regulations be strictly applied without fear or favour this time around is another major aspect. Interestingly, knowing the vociferous and vitriolic campaign on social websites, the candidates, for the first time ever, are expected to provide their Facebook and Twitter details to the EC. Young voters, most probably, hold all the aces on the outcome of the election.
During the first Sunday of the Lent season, thousands of pilgrims took part in the “Walking Pilgrimage” for the different parts of Goa. The meeting starting points were Mandur Church, Goa Velha church, Quelossim church, Vasco de Gama Church, Cansaulim Church and Verna Church, where huge numbers of pilgrims gathered together for the “Walking Pilgrimage.” They started walking while reciting the Rosary early in the morning and it took hours to reach to Sancoale Church for the Mass at 7 am to 8:30 am. Eucharist Special Mass was celebrated by the Archbishop of Goa and Daman Rev. Dr Filipe Neri Ferrao along with other parish priests from different parts of Goa.
There was heavy dew in the early morning and Christians sacrificed and asked for forgiveness during this holy month. Our Jesus Christ walked into the desert, prayed, fasted and saved us all sinners. Hundred of buses came from across entire Goa.
It was a successful and thanks to all the people of Goa, Catholic Church, Sancoale Parish Priest, youth, Goa State Police, Traffic cell Police department, Fire Department, Health Minister and PWD Minister and each and everyone for their support. God bless all of you with his showers of blessings.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi launched an all out attack against Prime Minister Modi over inadequacies in the Rafale deal, most of which are yet to be established. Rahul’s allegation could be a tactical move ahead of general elections who knows! Lack of bank guarantee, and new technology, and fewer jets are the main flaws in the Rafale deal.
The government's explanation for the modified Rafael deal is that the situation was critical, but such a situation has not undergone any change after 126 jet deal was replaced with a pact of 36 jets. It looks like defence equipments has opened a Pandora's box with tax payers money.
India has a defence policy. This means that when government buys arms from foreign countries, it sets a pre-condition that the seller should purchase some components or avail of some services in India, thereby generate Indian money to generate profits and employment to offset the deal. The offset valuation for the Rafael deal is set at 50 percent. Government must make transparent and clarify the confusion growing rapidly in the nation and world on this.
The village Panchayat in one of the notices has said that the collection of sopo (tax) for the year 2019-20 will be awarded only to the resident of Candolim, which is a good move, because we have seen in the past this was not done and I am sure this is the first village panchayat which has come forward to help local people. Hats off to the Sarpanch and his team.
I hope other villages will also follow this good gesture and as far as possible keep up the good relation with the people who will be very happy.
I would also like to make one more suggestion and that is the hired tourist taxis, rent a car, small work contract, if possible may also, be given to the genuine and, original resident of the village.
Domnick Rodrigues, Candolim