27 Nov 2021  |   05:25am IST

Letters to the editor (27 November 2021)

Letters to the editor (27 November 2021)

Illegal structure at Old Goa

Goans were shocked and surprised to learn that the chief minister of Goa continued to feign ignorance over the illegal and thus controversial structure at Old Goa which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site looked after by Archaeological Survey of India. This structure is constructed by one of the spokesperson of the ruling party within the one kilometre buffer zone of St Cajetan Church by flouting all norms of heritage zone and TCP.

A fake photograph of a house in Pernem was used to obtain clearances by deceit. In spite of this our chief minister who is also our home minister is asking the media, where is the illegal structure? What is illegal about it? "Study korunk nam oxem dista."

Goans are protesting against this for last so many months. Is all this falling on deaf ears? And what our altar boys in the ruling party are doing? Why are they quiet? Are they also in the dark? Goans should keep all this in mind and show them their place in the coming elections. Whole of Goa is protesting and our ministers and MLAs including opposition are sleeping. Goans please beware of these wolves.

Do not give up; let us continue our fight till Goa government wakes up from the slumber like how our Prime Minister got up in the farmers strike. We will get justice. Hum honge kamyab ek din.

Natividade Fernandes, Cavelossim

Guard against new COVID-19 variant

It is learnt that the centre on Thursday asked all State and union territories to conduct rigorous screening and testing of all international travellers coming from or transiting through South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana where a new variant of serious public implications has been reported.

So far 22 positive cases of the new variant have been reported in South Africa and the infection can reportedly move widely and rapidly. The new variant has both higher transmissibility and immune evasion. It is pertinent to note that recently India has relaxed visa restrictions and has opened up international travel. As per the revised guidelines for international arrivals issued by the government, the contacts of these international travellers must also be closely tracked and tested.

The festive season in Goa has almost commenced. Several foreign tourists will be visiting the State. Hence Goa needs to be on alert against the new variant of Covid-19. The Goa government’s decision not to give its nod to the popular Sunburn festival needs to be lauded since the festival attracts people from all across the globe.

Europe is reeling under a fresh wave of the Covid-19 infection. Goa needs to be on guard against a possible third wave since the state is an international tourist destination. 

Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco

More to it than meets the eye

In response to a PIL filed by a concerned citizen seeking quashing and setting aside the work order for structural rehabilitation of the Kala Academy awarded to a private agency sans the tendering process, the government submitted before the High Court of Bombay at Goa that in 'urgent' cases inviting bids can be dispensed with. The work was awarded on a 'nomination basis' (whatever that means).

It is pertinent to note that the civil contract package itself is worth @39.6 crores + taxes, not an amount to be sniffed at; the structural design consultancy was awarded in a similarly opaque fashion.

Now this begs the question....what is so 'urgent' about this project that government regulations and procedures were thrown to the winds? Had it been tendered, the work would certainly have been executed at lesser cost. 

As regards the KA package, there is certainly more to it than meets the eye. An impartial probe should be conducted to ascertain as to who were the beneficiaries of the award of this contract on 'urgent' basis through 'Nomination' flying in the face of all established norms and codes of practice. The country needs to know.

Vinay Dwivedi, Benaulim 

Peaceful protest is our fundamental right

With regards to Herald Insight "People are an unbeatable force" (Herald, November 26, 2011), people of Goa have won. And, they have won decisively against the powers that be.

The Old Goa Heritage Site is a source of immense pride for every Goan. It is heartening to see people from all walks of life and across the strata of society joined forces by way of a peaceful Satyagraha and jolted authorities into taking a call. People are not accountable to the powers that be. It is, in fact, the other way around.

The civil society with the support of the fourth estate can hold a mirror to our elected representatives who tend to take their mandate of five years for granted. Well done Goans. The unity of people is sacrosanct. If we stand united, no power on earth can defeat us. Viva Satyagraha. 

Gafaar Shaqoor, Margao 

Maintain civic sense

The quirky characteristics of we Indians is very interesting though undisguised many of us are unabashedly uncivil may be it is in our genes to be uncivil but how long can we continue to wonder ,'Why are we like this only? Shouldn't we learn to respect queues and maintain civil sense? We take pride in spitting from a car throwing peeled banana skin from the car and urinating in public place, subverting rules and breaking queues.’

Our shortcomings has been our identity which we humbly accept doing nothing to overcome them. The mindset has to change and unless we make things better for ourselves without taking shelter in,"we are like this only," the world will look at us with contempt.

Diomedes Pereira, Corlim

Pressure labour haunts

The Covid pandemic has given rise to a vicious cycle of loss of jobs and decreased income. Professionally independent men and women were on the backfoot when the pandemic was at its zenith. Their woes have spilled over. Reduction in income, and increased expenses pushed families to a corner. That an exponential increase in child labour happened in the form of undue exploitation of children, during the pandemic, is no secret. Even as schools are opening doors, children are being "protected" by their parents in a different way -- through disguised child labour. 

Also termed as "parentification", youngsters "employed" with their own family enterprises are bring pressurised to stay put by their fathers. 

Forced labour is being disguised as "training and assisting" by parents. Almost two years and counting, following the pandemic, "well trained" children are being seen as assets by the parents in their occupations. This is not to say that it was the pandemic that solely bred pressure labour. Covid 19 pandemic may have augmented parents' proclivity for forcing their children into parental occupations.

But the problem with this type of child labour is so striking----it may not look as exploitation in the literal sense but the damage it does to the overall personality of the children is indescribable.

Nowadays, another kind of "pressure child labour" has smothered the imagination of children especially the girls. 

Ganapathi Bhat, Akola