Times of India | 6 months ago | 20-05-2022 | 02:40 pm
When 27-year-old Harsha Naik from Bicholim would wait for her brother to come home to ask him about his day as a lifeguard, she would enjoy the thrill, risk, respect and responsibility that her brother would get. This inspired her to be one of the first woman lifeguards in Goa. On the other side was 21-year-old Shriya Karekar from Margao, who was getting fascinated with jet skis and her brother’s heroics attempts to save lives that pulled her towards this profession. Both women are currently lifeguards and are a part of the new program - Swim with Lifesavers. ‘We were inspired by our brothers’“The respect that I see my brother getting when he is at the beach is just amazing. He would come home and tell us about how he saved the tourists from drowning, the different measures and precautions he takes. A few weeks after I joined as a lifeguard, I told my father and he was very unhappy about the step I took. My mother is a swimmer and encouraged me to go ahead,” says Harsha. The family is into the business of sweet making and Harsha used to handle this, and there was some initial opposition as she was leaving the family profession. For Shriya this was a cool job to take. “Though the job had its own risks, it had a cool element too. As a kid, I was always fascinated by jet skis and I would go to Colva beach and admire the water sports. Here I can use the jet ski and save someone too - it’s a perfect place for me.” Shriya recently joined the services run by Drishti Marine Lifesavers and is posted at Benaulim beach. ‘As brothers we protect and guide them’“I told Shriya about the responsibilities of the job, you have to be mentally and physically present. If you snooze, you can lose a person to the tide. And I know that my sister is much more responsible than I am and being a swimmer by profession, she was fit for this post. I try to teach her techniques and ideas which she can use on the beach,” says Damodar Karekar, 27, captain administrator, who overlooks Arossim-Baina Beaches. He adds, “I asked my superiors not to post her and me at the same place as there could be misunderstandings created among teammates.”As a lifeguard they have to use various strategies to ensure that people are safe. “Working for around four years, I’ve gained a lot of knowledge how and what to speak to guests. I tell my sister what has to be done even though they are trained. I’ve asked her to be acquainted with the water sports and shack staff. They all help when we are in need. This is what I keep telling Harsha,” says Gautam Gajanan Naik, lifesaver who is currently posted on Baga Beach. ‘Our bros warned us about the tan’ The job comes not with just responsibilities but with a lot of tan, face allergies and other health issues. “When I wanted to join, my brother had told me about the tan and the other skin ailments. Being a student of fashion designing in the past, when I look at myself now, I’ve tanned a lot. But where will I go with all that fairness? I’m happy about what I’m doing. This job has given me a great feeling,” says Shriya. For Harsha - it’s a different deal. “More than me, My sister is concerned about my skin. She takes me to the parlour. But the next day, I’m back on the beach and I tend to get tanned again. Before I used to get scared of rescues, but a year into this, people treat us with a lot of respect,” says Harsha.
PANAJI: Ahead of the inauguration of the new Goa International Airport at Mopa low cost airline IndiGo announced that it would start 12 daily flights from the new airport from January 5. IndiGo will operate 168 weekly flights connecting all the major metros along with Pune, Jaipur and Ahmedabad. The private airline said the Mopa will be the "largest ever new station launch" in the country with direct flights to eight airports. At the same time, IndiGo said that it will continue with the existing flights from Goa International Airport at Dabolim. "We are very excited to announce our largest ever new station launch with new direct connections from the New Goa International Airport in Mopa," said IndiGo chief executive officer Pieter Elbers. IndiGo said that the new flights are designed to cater to travelers who are "constantly on the lookout for new and affordable flying options" to fly to Goa whether for business or for tourism. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate Goa’s second international airport at Mopa on December 11 but the airport will begin operations from January 5. IndiGo said that it is introducing new flights to cater to the “increasing demand” from tourists who want to travel to north Goa. “Residents of Goa will also be able to utilize these new services to fly directly to many large cities across India and utilize IndiGo’s comprehensive network at its hubs to connect onward to its entire network spanning more than 100 destinations,” said the airline in a statement.
PANAJI: In what is becoming a trend among tourists, yet another individual drove a car onto a beach, this time onto the Morjim beach. With images of the vehicle being circulated on social media, the tourism department directed the Pernem Police Station to file an FIR against the unidentified individuals. According to deputy director for Tourism Dhiraj Vagle, the incident occurred on Thursday noon time. The vehicle, a Toyota Innova Crysta, appears stuck in the sand at Morjim. Photographs of the car, which has Goa registration, showed three individuals besides the car which is close to the high tide line. Morjim is a known Olive Ridley turtle nesting site and the government has banned all forms of activity that can disturb the turtles. The tourism department has also declared driving on Goa's beaches as a nuisance as such activities can damage the tourism potential of Goa’s beaches. Incidents where tourists violate rules and drive in a reckless manner have become common in Goa. “One unauthorized vehicle bearing registration No GA 03 Z 8474 was found to be recklessly and illegally driving at Morjim beach stretch,” said Vagle. Vagle asked the police to file an FIR against the driver and owner of the vehicle under section 188 of IPC. Along with criminal proceedings, the guilty will also have to pay a fine of Rs 5000 extendible up to Rs 50000. Under the Goa Tourist Places Protection and Maintenance Act, the tourism department has prohibited several activities including cooking of food in open spaces, begging, driving on beaches, drinking in public, massages, unauthorized hawkers and selling of cruise tickets. In this case, the owner of the car is liable for fines to the tune of Rs 5000 extendible upto Rs 50000. Goa has witnessed several instances of tourists taking their personal vehicles and rented vehicles for a drive on the beach, often even driving into the water. In the past, several vehicles got bogged down in the sand and were even partially submerged in water.
Ananyaa Bath, a woman lifesaver from Drishti Marine, was involved in a successful rescue operation at Benaulim Beach. The rescued person was a 40-year-old female tourist. Ananyaa Bat is one of five women lifesavers on the lifesaving team that conducts daily rescues and other beach-related tasks. A family on the beach was located close to the shore, when two of the family members who were under the influence of alcohol decided to venture deeper into the sea. While the two sisters were out in the deep waters, a sudden huge wave knocked one of the sisters over. She was temporarily submerged and took in water through her mouth and nose, which led to her suffocation. The other sister with her witnessed her struggle and began shouting for help. On noticing the commotion, Ananya Bhat and two other lifesavers Punu and Subhash, who were stationed at the nearest lifesaver tower, rushed to their rescue using equipment such as a rescue board and rescue tube. The two sisters were safely brought to shore. The person who was knocked over by the wave was having immense difficulty in breathing. Ananyaa, the female lifesaver carried out CPR and cleared her airway, bringing the individual back to a recovery state. The victim was subsequently handed over to the emergency services for further examination.
CANACONA: Nearly 1,800 students in schools in Canacona’s Agonda and Khola panchayats have been deprived of the midday meal facility from October 1 after the self-help group (SHG) providing the meals found it uneconomical to continue with the service. Assistant district education inspector (ADEI), Canacona, Lawrence Pereira, who confirmed the development, told TOI that a letter from Omkar SHG, which provided the meals to schools in these areas, has been sent to the department and that the department is exploring alternatives to address the situation. “The government is aware that the rate offered to SHGs is not sufficient, but has not paid heed to our repeated demands to raise the amount. As it was not economically viable to supply meals, we had no other alternative but to discontinue,” said Sandhya Dessai, who runs the SHG. She said that Omkar SHG along with Surbhi, Astha and Shivam SHGs were awarded contracts to provide midday meals in various schools of Canacona. However, Surbhi and Shivam SHGs discontinued the service four years ago citing rise in rates and other technical difficulties. Following this, Omkar and Astha were the only SHGs supplying the midday meal with Omkar catering to 2,900 students, and Astha 1,700 students, Dessai said. Dessai’s SHG continues to provide midday meals to schools in Poinguinim and Loliem-Polem panchayats. Previously, the government had fixed a rate of Rs 5.1 per student from Classes I to IV, and Rs 6.6 per student from Classes V to VIII. These rates were revised to Rs 6.11 and Rs 7.45 per student, respectively, with effect from 2014, Dessai said. SHGs used to supply bhaji pao, sheera, khichdi and pulao dishes, but this year the department of education revised the menu to include idlis, bhaji, pulao, chickpeas or moong, while pao was replaced with chapatis. Dessai said the rates of all these items have increased and hence it was not economically viable to continue with the service at the present rates. Besides the expense related to food items, she said that she has to sustain staff and transportation of the food. “Each of the four vehicles hired to transport the meals is paid Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000 depending on the distance and the area they have to cover. Besides this, I use my own vehicle to take the food to schools in Marlim and Tirval,” Dessai said, adding that her 11 women staff are paid Rs 300 per day.
Panaji: Three patients requiring open heart surgeries have been waiting since Monday for Goa Medical College (GMC) to perform these procedures. The surgeries, scheduled after a long wait for Monday, were rescheduled on Tuesday, but again couldn’t be carried out as the central air-conditioning in the cardiac operation theatre failed to function post maintenance work carried out by Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation (GSIDC) over the weekend. Cleaning staff were seen soaking up the water that was leaking from the air-conditioning into the corridors of GMC. Patients and relatives have been under stress as they were ready for the surgeries and had already waited for a considerable period to get a scheduled date on the long waiting list. Patients said they had to remain fasting, causing inconvenience to them.The patients said they were ready for the surgeries on Monday and were told the surgery would be held on Tuesday instead. They are hoping that the surgeries now scheduled for Wednesday will take place, but there is no guarantee regarding this.GSIDC had begun the air-conditioning maintenance work on Saturday and was due to have the operation theatre ready for operations on Monday. But sources said the air-conditioning wasn’t functioning and failed to cool even after the maintenance work was carried out. Each open-heart surgery takes around six hours, and it is not possible to begin surgeries unless temperatures are below 20 degrees. The sealed operation theatre runs on centralised air-conditioning and operations are conducted from Monday to Friday. Dean GMC Dr S Bandekar on Tuesday said it was a technical issue, and that GSIDC engineers were on the job to fix the problem.