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For Goa, by Goa and of Goa!

09 Sep 2018 06:50am IST

Report by
KARSTEN MIRANDA

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09 Sep 2018 06:50am IST

Report by
KARSTEN MIRANDA

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Revolutionary Goans is a strong group of Goans who have banded together to safeguard Goa's identity, culture, nature, and heritage, and furthermore, to empower Goans in different fields. Their latest initiative, the Goenche Daaiz, has seen this group promoting traditional Goan items such as the Ghumot. KARSTEN MIRANDA speaks to the team to find out what drives them

It’s not uncommon to hear people talk about their plans to bring about change in Goa; despite the impassioned promises and talks of action, there’s hardly any interest or anything concrete when it comes to actually implementing such grand plans.

However, there is one group in particular that brings a refreshing change to this lazy narrative. They speak about starting a revolution, and while they too have grand plans, they have hit the ground running and have let their actions speak about their work.

And they haven’t restricted their scope of work to one area but have taken on a wide range of challenges.

Revolutionary Goans, as they are known, is a strong group of Goans that have come together to safeguard Goa's identity, culture, nature and heritage, and furthermore, to empower Goans in different fields. In many ways, their efforts, which have received tremendous praise from all quarters, have started to market Goa in a unique way, a way that celebrates the Goan way of life and aims at preserving Goan traditions and customs.

In the recent past, they made headlines for their efforts under their initiative, ‘Ek Dis Xetaan’. They had sowed ‘kuddit’, a local variety of paddy seed, on 600 square metres of land, after having prepared the field by using a power tiller and keeping it well aerated.

This was just one example of their past efforts. Under another initiative, known as ‘Goenche Daaiz’, the group is now focussing on local festivals and fairs that occur across the state.

In this week, they have put up a stall under this initiative where they are promoting traditional Goan ware at the Kharedi Yatra exhibition being held at Don Bosco Panjim and the idea behind it is to support the locals.

“Revolutionary Goans is working closely with Goan youth and rural women for their empowerment. We carried out our first program, where we took the initiative of cleaning up the Mario Miranda paintings at the Panjim market. We then conducted a rural women entrepreneurship program for 120 women at Pirna village as well as one at Valpoi with Harijanwada women. We’ve also had a one-day skill and entrepreneurship and skill development programme for 100 youth at Thivim. Then there was the organic farmers awareness program at Neura and Canacona. We’ve also made it a point to bring our youths and elders into farming through the initiative ‘Ek dis Xetan’. Our most recent initiative is ‘Goenche Daaiz’ that is aimed at bringing back our tradition,” says Viresh Borkar of Revolutionary Goans.

“We have set up our stall at the Kharedi Yatra in order to promote the Ghumot that is synonymous with the Goan identity. We want to promote Goan artistes who make the Ghumot. We want our Goan youth to look at these exhibitions as a profession and set up their stalls, earn money and become entrepreneurs. Ghumots unite Goans,” adds Viresh, who incidentally was part of the Ghumot Festival held at Siridao beach last year.

They have even come out with specially designed t-shirts with the Ghumot print on it.

“We have original Ghumots made at Bicholim; we also have the Shamel, a few mud show-pieces made by a Goan artistes, Goenkar brand notebooks with Goan images like ghumot, ferry boat, Shigmo pictures as well as Ghumot Aarti CDs for Ganesh Chaturthi,” adds a team member, while describing what’s available at their stall.

The team member further states that the response to the stall has been overwhelming. “People from all over Goa are coming especially to visit our stall and buy Goan products from us. Even Goans abroad are sending their friends and family to buy t-shirts for them; we have also provided different places from where Goans can collect t-shirts, including the website to TheGoanmarket.com. As usual, #RevolutionaryGoans is getting all the love, blessings and support from all Goenkars,” adds Viresh.

Besides Viresh, the core team consists of Manoj Parab, Suraj Naik, Vishvesh Naik, Nitesh Borkar, Roshan Mathias and Madhavi Parab. Manoj is an MSC graduate and now has his own business; Viresh is an engineer working for a multinational technology company; Vishvesh is a BCom graduate and ex-banker now turned photographer; Suraj is a BCom graduate, who is now self employed; Nitesh has complete his ITI and is a full-time farmer and café owner; Roshan is a former DJ and now full-time social worker; and Madhavi, an MSC graduate, is now a business women.

The team member reiterates how these initiatives connect the group to why it was created, and that the group of ‘Niz Goenkars’ have joined hands to protect Goa, the Goan identity and the existence of Goans in their Goa.

“Goans are now realising that they are getting lost somewhere in their own state. And we see the revolution happening. Many are joining us in this revolution and we want to tell all Goans that this is the last chance we have to save our identity, to save our existence in our own state. So don’t stay back, don’t shy away from any type of work, get the feeling of ‘Being Goenkar’ and be a responsible son/daughter of the Goan soil. Support, love and blessings will surely pour in,” adds the group.

The group further talks about their future plans, of which they have many.  They state that their next big plan is to tackle rising unemployment in the state. The group in the past has not shied away from raising issues such as various practices in the state that have compounded the unemployment problem in Goa among other such pressing issues affecting Goans.

“We are working on a website that will be exclusively for the Goan youth that are unemployed and looking for a job; the launch has been scheduled for October 14, 2018 at Menezes Baraganza Hall, Panjim. We also have plans of taking farming to a different level in Goa wherein Goans should see farming as a viable business,” reveals Viresh.

On a concluding note, the group feels that they have made it so far mainly because of the support they have received from the locals and they express their deep gratitude for the same, hoping their actions can inspire others to join them in their initiatives or begin their own initiatives of a similar nature. “We would like to thank all Goans who are in Goa or anywhere in this world, who are supporting us, motivating us, and keeping us in their prayers. We promise we will never let you down, your faith in us is what keeps us strong and we will keep going ahead with more passion and dedication. A huge revolution is due and Goa will witness it soon. Let’s be part of the revolution” says Viresh.

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