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Newsletter. Issue 18. August 28, 2010

 

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News Clips from Goa
 

Gaunkars urge Guv to save Communidade land
Keeping up with tradition, the nine ‘Gaunkar’ families constituting the Taleigao Communidade presented the first corn of rice to Goa Governor S S Siddhu on Tuesday, the last day of the annual Harvest Feast (Konsanchem Fest), celebrations for which began on August 21. This year, the Gaunkars of Taleigao celebrated 500 years of the privilege of presenting the first sheaf of corn to the Portuguese Governor General. Taleigao was the first village to have been given this privilege by the erstwhile rulers in recognition of help the villagers gave to their troops when they were starving for food after being temporarily defeated by Adilshah in 1510. [H]

 

Agnel Ashram inaugurated in Assagao
The Agnel Ashram Technical Education Complex set foot in the pristine valley of Assagao, Goa, India, on 23rd August 2010 morning. The first block of the Complex was inaugurated by the local sarpanch Pradeep Naik and blessed by Rt Rev Alex Dias, Bishop of Port Blair, on the Assagao hill, setting the base for converting the tiny village in an educational hub. The village has already the DMC College, Palotti Seminary, Assagao Union High School, Palotti Sisters, El Shaddai, etc operating here.

 

Panchayats to get Rs 90 cr( $20 million Canadian)
Goa has been allotted a whopping Rs 90 crore for panchayats and zilla panchayats under the 13th Finance Commission award for a period of five years and the first installment amounting to Rs 4.2 crore has been received by the Directorate of Panchayats. However, all efforts made to obtain the pending installment of over Rs 5 crore under the 12th Finance Commission award from the Centre have proved futile. The director of Panchayats, Mr Menino D’souza informed that the 13th Finance Commission has recommended a percentage of divisible pool of resources for the local bodies with two components - a basic grant and a performance grant - instead of a lumpsum grant. [NT]

 

Eroded stretches of Betalbatim, Keri, Talpona beaches to be restored soon
The water resources department (WRD) will soon take up restoration work of the beaches at Betalbatim, Keri and Talpona at an estimated cost of Rs 13.1 crore, following recommendations from the Central Water and Power Research Centre. The WRD had earlier submitted names of 20 beaches to the Central Water and Power Research Centre for conducting a study to arrest seashore erosion. Over 20-25 km of Goa’s coastline has already been eroded. A senior official in the know said that the WRD will take up restoration of around 2.3 km of the affected coastline. The beaches earlier submitted by the WRD to the Central Water and Power Research Centre, which is the research and development unit of the Union Ministry of Water Resources, included Anjuna, Candolim, Arambol, Keri, Betalbatim, Kanaguinim, Talpona, Galgibag and Utorda among others. [NT]

 

Jose Philip tells officers to be courteous to people
Revenue Minister and state NCP president, Mr Jose Philip D’Souza, who on Wednesday visited the Bardez Collectorate office at Mapusa, asked officers and government employees to be courteous to people and attend to people’s works and solve them at the earliest. Mr D’Souza, who was upset with complaints from people that staff were rude and sending them back for not bringing required documents told the officers and the employees to give in writing to the people what were the additional documents required which were not produced at that time so that people did not have to repeatedly come for their work. [NT]

 

Leopard trapped in Cuncolim much to relief of residents
A male leopard fell into the trap laid by the Forest department at Cancnamodi-Cuncolim in the wee hours of Tuesday, giving relief to the local residents. The presence of leopards had given sleepless nights to the residents of Cancanamodi, with the wild cats devouring around 28 pigs and 11 dogs in the last two months. Forest officials have laid another trap in the locality after residents sighted three more leopards since the last three days.

Goan helping hand in Pakistan flood relief work
http://sify.com/news/goan-helping-hand-in-pakistan-flood-relief-work-news-national
2010-08-26 10:40:00


Panaji: As help pours in for Pakistan's flood-affected areas, a small group of Pakistanis of Goan origin is networking to bring hope to some 20 million people affected by the calamity.

Deborah Santamaria's Goinkars Own Academy (GOA) operating from Karachi has been sending appeals to the Goan diaspora across the world, seeking assistance desperately. Around 1,600 people have been killed in the floods in Pakistan.

GOA has also set up a relief camp at St.Anthony's church in Karachi, Pakistan, to pitch in physically with the relief work.

US makes aid warning in Pakistan

'Our group has set up a relief camp at our parish St Anthony's Church - Karachi and at this moment we are focusing on putting together family packs (containing essential items) which will be transported to the (flood) affected areas,' Deborah, who traces her roots to Goa, said.

She is part of a 25,000-strong community of Goans who had settled in Pakistan, several of them near Karachi, in the pre-partition days.

'We have also got in touch with the parish priests in the affected areas and have asked them to send in their requests for items that they would require for relief work,' she said, adding that GOA's flood relief work had first started in the Sindh and Balochistan provinces of Pakistan. Describing the floods since July, which have devastated areas of Sindh, south Punjab and Balochistan, as 'worse than the tsunami', Deborah said the lives and hope of millions of people were destroyed overnight.

'Flood water has damaged roads and washed away bridges, effectively cutting off the worst affected areas from the rest of the country. Crops have been washed away, causing severe food scarcity,' she said. 'Key humanitarian needs for the displaced population are food and safe drinking water. The biggest threat is the outbreak of water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea and cholera, especially deadly to children,' she added. Deborah's appeal to the liberally scattered Goan diaspora, via the web, across the world has not fallen on deaf years. 'We've received a terrific response from the Goan community across the world, especially those settled in Canada,' she said.

Pakistan floods threaten 3 towns as levee fails

'Not just Goans. People from every walk of life have come forward to help the devastated flood victims of our country,' she said.

Deborah further said this was not the first time that the community had come together to lend a helping hand in the face of a calamity in Pakistan.

'In 2005, when the earthquake struck our country we got together and set up relief camps at the various parishes of the archdiocese. The stuff we collected was then transported to the affected areas.

'Our country and its people in the affected area are going through crisis and the little that we are doing is just a drop in the ocean,' she said.

The July floods in Pakistan left the nation shell-shocked and have been described as one of the most devastating tragedy to have occurred in the region. The global community is already pitching in with aid worth millions of dollars to assist the relief work.

 

Right to productive living denied in Goa: Church
http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/health/right-to-productive-living-denied-in-goa
Saturday, August 21, 2010

 
Panaji, Aug 21 (IANS) The Church in Goa Saturday said rights of residents to carve out a productive living was being forcibly denied in the state, where nearly 26 percent of the population is Roman Catholic. It also said Goa’s fragile, life-sustaining environment was in peril in view of sustained pillage of its ecology in the guise of development.

Fr Maverick Fernandes, executive secretary of the Council for Social Justice and Peace (CSJP), a social front of the influential Roman Catholic Church of Goa, called for effective participation by citizens in local self governing bodies to make the state government accountable.

“The citizens of this tiny state have woken up to this sad reality and are demanding that their rights for a creatively productive living, forcibly denied, be restored,” Fernandes said in a statement. “In today’s context, protection and promotion of the environment and ecology are paramount. In the name of development and economic growth, land is not only used, but abused, and has caused irreparable degradation of the ecology and polluted soil, water and air,” he added.

“Vulnerable groups like women, children and youth are used as objects for the service and even pleasure of those who are in power,” Fernandes added.

The official said the Church in Goa had localised the eight Millennium Development Goals that all 192 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organisations have agreed to achieve by 2015.

Fernandes said effective participation in all the activities of the local self governing bodies was the key to turning things around in Goa. “Awareness of all laws and amendments proposed in the legislative assembly, their scrutiny, in-depth analysis and giving suggestions or raising objections so that these laws genuinely benefit the citizens is necessary,” he said.

The CSJP has been in the forefront of several agitations against the Congress-led coalition government, protesting against rampant corruption and ill-conceived policies of the government relating to mega housing projects, promotion of special economic zones (SEZ) and casino trade.

More at: Right to productive living denied in Goa: Church

 

Goa - Let Us Protect Our Natural Heritage
http://www.navhindtimes.in/panorama/let-us-protect-our-natural-heritage
Published on: August 22, 2010 - 02:33 | By Dr Kasturi Desai


Two decades ago, Sunday mornings during the month of Shravan used to be great fun for Goan children. It was then that the kids were asked to go and fetch different types of leaves for their mothers. These leaves were used in the Aitar Pooja.

The children learnt to identify the plants; they knew where these plants grew and throughout the year, they protected them as they knew they would need them later. But, gone are those days, as now kids have no time to fetch these leaves and of course many of them do not live in the vicinity of plants. But knowing about a few plants is always useful as they can be used in times of crisis. Most of these plants have some or the other medicinal uses.

Around sixteen types of leaves are required every Sunday and we shall learn to identify at least a few this time. One interesting common plant that is required is Hundrache kaan (meaning ear of a rat) botanically referred to as Emilia sonchifolia. It is a shiny slender herb about 12-18 cm in length erect or branched from the base. The leaves are variable, the lower ones with stalk, elongated, the margins may be deeply or slightly cut. The flowers are purplish, many arranged in a bunch. A decoction of the plant is used to bring down fever. It is also used in bowel complaints. The juice of the leaf is a handy treatment for cuts and wounds. The leaf juice is also administered in combination with other plants for intermittent fevers and asthma. The leaf juice is also used to treat eyesores.

Another plant from the same group is Soshyache Kan (meaning ear of a rabbit), Elephantopus scaber. The local names are provably given because of the shape of the leaves. This is an erect herb that gives out many stout roots. The plant is well branched, with white hair. Leaves spread out on the ground, almost long, the margin being cut, more or less hairy on both the surfaces. The flowers are violet in colour, small and in bunch. The leaf juice is used to expel intestinal worms in children.

The next leaf is Kavdyache fou, which means flat rice of the crows. The plant belongs to the grass family and it is so called because the seeds of the plant are eaten by crows and other birds. Botanically it is Eragrostis unioloides. A decoction of the leaves is a household remedy for cold.

The next plant is from the family of the shoe flower. It is Sida rhombifolia. It is locally known as Tabkadi or Ati-bala. The plant is an erect hairy shrub. The leaves are somewhat oval shaped, having toothed margin. The flowers are yellow in colour. The plant is used to cure rheumatism, neurological disorders and general debility. A steam bath using this plant is very relaxing. To get relief from pains of joints, rheumatism and other muscular pains, a few leaves are boiled in any oil like til or coconut and massaged. The leaves are internally taken to treat problems of difficult urination, diarrhoea and fever. This plant is also used commercially.

The next plant that we will talk about is Sitachi Tikli or Desmodium triflorum. This is a perennial (life cycle more than two years) trailing herb. Numerous branches are present and the roots come from the nodes. The leaves are trifoliate, oval shaped. The flowers are usually pinkish and sometimes white in colour. The entire plant is used to improve milk production in lactating mothers. The plant is used to treat dysentery, diarrhoea, convulsions, cough and bronchitis. A decoction of the plant is used to get relief from intestinal gas problems and from burning sensation in the digestive tract. The juice of the plant is applied externally to treat wounds, sores and abscesses.

Our next collection is a plant from a lower group, the ferns. Ferns have roots, stem and leaves like the higher plants but they do not flower. They reproduce through spores which are often present below the elaborate leaves. This is Adiantum lonulatum, in Konkani Ghodyachi paolan, meaning hooves of horses. The leaves indeed look so! The plant is known for its essential oil present in them and the entire fern is used as a tonic.

If one takes note of the local names, we find that they are very descriptive and help in identification. Moreover, the ailments they help to cure are very common to the season.

 

BJP wants to shed communal image, eyes Christian votes in Goa
http://www.goablog.org/
Posted: 22 Aug 2010 03:29 AM PDT


In a bid to shed its communal image and boost its minority vote base, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders will interact with Christian religious leaders, including the archbishop of Goa, the party announced Sunday. Addressing a press conference, BJP national secretary and in charge of Goa Arti Mehra, said: ‘The party feels there is a concious need to reach out to the Christian community in the state and increase its minority vote base by at least five percent.’

‘We will be having increased interactions with Christian religious leaders in order to put across the correct image of the BJP. We need to clear the misconception that the BJP is a communal party. We need such sensitisation programmes with the minority community,’ said Mehra, a former mayor of Delhi.

‘We are having an interaction with Fr Agnel ashram (a popular educational institution run by a Catholic order), where we will make a presentation to its students. We will also meet the archbishop to offer our respects,’ Mehra said, adding that the programme would reach out to the Christian community in Goa, before moving on to other minority religious groups. Mehra also said such interactions would help the BJP up its minority vote by at least five to seven percent.

‘Christians comprise nearly 30 percent of the Goan population. By our efforts and personal interactions by our leaders, we would try to increase our vote share in the minority community by at least five to seven percent,’ she said.

Courtesy: sify

 

Goa Medical College Students arrested for ragging
Posted: 21 Aug 2010 01:20 AM PDT
Courtesy:
Herald


Even as nine students of the Goa Medical College arrested for ragging were released on bail, Agassaim police on Friday recorded statements of all seven witnesses. Speaking to Deputy Superintendent of Police Deu Benaulikar, told Herald that a chargesheet against the alleged accused MBBS students will be filed shortly. He did not specify any date to filing the chargesheet, though. “We have already quizzed the accused students and also completed recording statements of the seven junior students who were ragged. A charge sheet will soon be filed after we record statements of Goa Medical College Dean Dr V N Jindal and warden of the hostel Dr C P Das,” said the officer.

It is learnt that the victims told police that the senior students asked them to kneel down and salute.

Earlier, GMC authorities expelled the accused students from the hostel for ragging the first year MBBS students, on Thursday. Warden of the hostel Dr C P Das caught the nine students in action following which he intimated the authorities and subsequently lodged a complaint at Agassaim police station. All these students including those involved in ragging and victim juniors were enrolled from All India Quota, studying various courses of MBBS.


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