A teacher at Don Bosco’s in Panaji and a versatile actor who has played a variety of roles in many tiatr, Pedro Rodrigues from Arambol has made a mark on the Konkani stageJP PEREIRAPedro Rodrigues’ love for tiatr was nurtured at a young age. His father Juaomari Rodrigues was an amateur actor, who acted in shows staged in villages. “I remember my father telling me of his days in tiatr, especially the female roles he played for duets, as in those days girls would not step on the stage,” he recalls.As an altar server in Arambol Church, the Parish Priest Fr C Mazarello, would also encourage and cast him in small plays. “For the village and ward annual feast, there would always be a tiatr and I would regularly attend the rehearsals. This is when I made up my mind that soon I would also act in tiatr,” he says.When Rodrigues joined the seminary in Saligao, Micheal Fernandes, one of the students there, wrote ‘Axea’, a play to be staged for the annual day, he got an opportunity to perform. However the break came in 1991 when Anthony Rodrigues staged ‘Papi’ in the village. “I was offered a major role and that was the first tiatr I acted in. My wish was fulfilled and there was no looking back,” he says.Affectionately called Sir Peter by his co-artistes, he has acted for many directors. Aires de Arambol cast him in ‘Vath’ and ‘Moronn’. There was ‘Konn Guneavkari’ by Caitan Fernandes, ‘Naum Tujem’ by Mina Rodrigues, ‘Sonxit Tho Bhagivont’ by Evaristo de Arambol, ‘Tukach Lagon’ by Vailankani de Souza, and many others.But he came into the limelight when ace director and winner of many KA Tiatr competitions, Alexin de Morjim, began casting him in his tiatr. Beginning with ‘Osleank Konn Sambautolo’, he continued in ‘Sarpanch’, ‘Hanv Jikhlom’, the superb ‘Sorry’, ‘Chowkidar’ and the latest, ‘Kochro’ in which he played a corrupt and evil minister in style. His own plays include ‘Dev Nidonk na’, ‘Nit Konn Kortorlo?’, ‘Oxem Kiteak Ghodta?’, and some others.“Tiatr has given me an opportunity to perform in Delhi and Gujarat for plays by Alexin de Morjim. I compose my own songs and have lent my lyrics to many other singers,” he says. Asked about the standard of tiatr today he says: “Tiatr has become commercialised. The young generation doesn’t seem to be attracted to tiatr. Vulgarity has set in! We as tiatrists should use our skill and innovate, to get the younger generation to fall in love with tiatr,” he says. Further, he says, as a teacher of the Konkani language, he advises youngsters to watch the tiatr performed at the Kala Academy competitions and those staged by senior writers and directors. “A few new directors are also trying to introduce new ideas. Let us strive to take the standard of our tiatr high. Parents, please motivate your children to act in tiatrs, if they havethe talent.”Rodrigues is also grateful for his talent and all the blessings in his life. “I am thankful to God for my talent and my family, for all their support. My wife Querobina and mother Jebelina is always encouraging and my daughter, Rosanne who is in the class 7 already acts and sings for tiatr in the village,” he says.“I wanted to be a tiatrist and I achieved this. It is a hobby and I am grateful to all my directors for the opportunity to perform”, he adds.Other tiatr acted in:‘Bore Dis Kedna Ietole?’, ‘Facebook’, ‘Citizen’ by Alexin de Morjim‘Vath’ by Fr Minguel Pereira‘Amkam Bhogos Maie’ by Natty de Arambol; ‘Xevott’ by Peter Rodrigues‘Pai Director’ by Peter CardozoAwards: Felicitated at the 125 years of Tiatr Celebration, Merit certificate for acting in a negative role in ‘Kochro’
Panaji: The tourism department has written to panchayats asking them to share information about persons and entities in their jurisdictions who illegally rent out rooms to tourists so that action can be initiated against them. “Since it isn’t feasible for them (tourism department) to check every operator who may be operating without permission, they want panchayats to help them,” said an official. The panchayats, however, are yet to respond. Even as a recently-introduced law makes it mandatory for all those who rent houses or flats to tourists to register with the tourism department, industry stakeholders claim that there is a huge illegal inventory of rooms. The tourism department has not received many complaints about illegal operators. “Whatever few complaints we received were acted upon,” the official said. He also said that the department has made its position clear to online aggregators, that they have to ensure that guesthouses or rooms enlisted by them are registered with the tourism department. “It is their responsibility,” he said. In coastal villages of both North and South Goa, the trend of renting houses to foreign tourists has set in. In fact, around Arambol, Morjim, Ashvem, and Mandrem, every second house is rented to tourists (mostly Russians and others who stay in Goa for long periods). Over the past two years of the pandemic, the trend was halted, but it resumed this year, even though fewer foreigners are visiting Goa. Russian charters to Goa were suspended after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The state received a few charters from Kazakhstan, but operations stopped even before the season could wind up. “Now, domestic tourists who wish to stay in Goa for a long period of time stay in houses,” an Arambol villager said. “Villagers are happy to rent provided they get paid. There is a lot of money in renting houses to tourists.”
PANAJI: Even the increased presence of tourist police has not completely stopped the entry of vendors on the beaches. Vendors are not permitted to sell goods on the beaches, yet they are found on almost all as if a permanent feature, though their numbers may differ from beach to beach. A tourism official said that a major challenge before them is to find a solution to this problem and it will be their priority. "Removing touts and vendors from the beaches will be important to us," the official said. The tourist police have their own justification for not being able to end the nuisance of hawkers on the beaches, while at some beach stretches even children can be found either begging or selling goods. A tourist police posted at Calangute beach, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that they try their best to chase the vendors away but when the beach is full of tourists, it is not easy to keep tabs on all of them. The police, he said, gets called when there is a problem - someone is drowning, tourists fight, lifeguards call when tourists don't heed their advice not to swim in "no swim zones". "We have seized goods from several vendors, but a few days later, they return and it is not easy to stop all of them," a tourist police personnel said. It is like a free for all at the Arambol beach which sees a heavy flow of domestic tourists. Here, there is a mix of vendors - locals, outsiders as well as a few foreigners - who display their goods, but mostly in the evenings. A shack owner from Arambol said, some of the local vendors seen selling fruits or tea are permitted by the panchayat, while the rest have the 'blessing' of someone or the other. "They are doing their business because they are protected," the shack operator alleged. The worst thing, he said, is children begging or selling goods. "When footfalls are high, more vendors descend on the beach. The children who beg are under the wings of vendors and nobody catches them," the shack operator said. He said the locals working as hawkers on the beach are few, most are from Karnataka and Maharashtra who visit Goa during the tourism season. Some double as masseurs. "Whether local or non-local, those operating illegally should be stopped but I think, over the years, the problem has grown so big that the authorities find it difficult to catch them," he said.
Panaji: Even the increased presence of tourist police has not completely stopped the entry of vendors on the beaches. Vendors are not permitted to sell goods on the beaches, yet they are found on almost all as if a permanent feature, though their numbers may differ from beach to beach. A tourism official said that a major challenge before them is to find a solution to this problem and it will be their priority. “Removing touts and vendors from the beaches will be important to us,” the official said. The tourist police have their own justification for not being able to end the nuisance of hawkers on the beaches, while at some beach stretches even children can be found either begging or selling goods. A tourist police posted at Calangute beach, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that they try their best to chase the vendors away but when the beach is full of tourists, it is not easy to keep tabs on all of them. The police, he said, gets called when there is a problem — someone is drowning, tourists fight, lifeguards call when tourists don’t heed their advice not to swim in “no swim zones”. “We have seized goods from several vendors, but a few days later, they return and it is not easy to stop all of them,” a tourist police personnel said. It is like a free for all at the Arambol beach which sees a heavy flow of domestic tourists. Here, there is a mix of vendors — locals, outsiders as well as a few foreigners — who display their goods, but mostly in the evenings. A shack owner from Arambol said, some of the local vendors seen selling fruits or tea are permitted by the panchayat, while the rest have the ‘blessing’ of someone or the other. “They are doing their business because they are protected,” the shack operator alleged. The worst thing, he said, is children begging or selling goods. “When footfalls are high, more vendors descend on the beach. The children who beg are under the wings of vendors and nobody catches them,” the shack operator said. He said the locals working as hawkers on the beach are few, most are from Karnataka and Maharashtra who visit Goa during the tourism season. Some double as masseurs. “Whether local or non-local, those operating illegally should be stopped but I think, over the years, the problem has grown so big that the authorities find it difficult to catch them,” he said.
Panaji: Even as he scans the wide blue expanse for any signs of a swimmer in distress, head lifeguard Milind Korde is ever alert and receptive to trouble closer on land as he is approached by a distraught woman looking for her ‘lost’ spouse. From saving sea bathers to finding missing children and now even husbands, Korde says that theirs is an ever expanding set of responsibilities. Besides them, police personnel posted on beaches also help find missing kids and spouses. “There are several cases of missing husbands being reported to us. We find them a few meters away on the same beach. It is likely that the man may have moved away to explore the beach on his own,” says Korde, who oversees South Goa as head lifeguard instructor for Drishti Marine that provides lifeguarding services to the tourism department. It is quite understandable for visitors unused to beaches to lose their bearings as the sandy expanse takes on an uniform appearance to them, says Korde. “For them, a beach is a beach and everything looks the same being new to Goa.” In the case of male tourists getting separated from the family group, it is mostly the wife who comes frantically to us asking that we find her missing husband, he says, adding that in many such cases, the husband has left his cellphone with the wife for safekeeping before stepping into the sea and there is no way for her to contact him. A sector head for North Goa, Drishti Marine, Amit Mahale says locating a person, whether a child or adult, on a crowded beach is a bit difficult, but they manage nevertheless. At times the husband is found at the hotel they are staying at. “The husband, after not finding his wife on the beach or at the spot he left her, returns to the hotel,” says Mahale, adding that they have handled several such cases. “Initially we would find it amusing when a wife would come to report a husband gone missing literally from infront of her, but now we understand how the events may have unfolded,” he says. On Monday, a 22-year-old tourist was reported missing by his friends at Morjim beach. Lifeguard Aman Salgaonkar located him within twenty minutes around 400m away. “He was united with his friends,” says Salgaonkar. During holidays and extended holidays the beaches of Colva-Benaulim in South Goa, and Calangute, Candolim, Baga and Sinquerim in North Goa get very crowded. Domestic tourists are now venturing up to the northern beaches of Arambol, Morjim and Mandrem. Of these, Arambol beach sees the maximum footfalls, though the numbers are still less compared to Calangute and Candolim, says Mahale.
Staff ReporterPanajiThe National Green Tribunal has ordered the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) to remove all illegal structures falling in no-development zone at Arambol beach in Pernem taluka, asking it to maintain vigilance against any such constructions in future.The green court’s order came on a plea filed by Mannekben Tandel against illegal shacks and huts put up by violators on sand dunes at Arambol beachwithin 200 mt. of high tide line, in violation of CRZ Notification.The three-member NGT bench headed by Adarsh Kumar Goel directed the GCZMA to remove any such illegal structures, if still in existence, and maintain vigilance.It is pertinent to note that the tribunal had passed an interim order in November 2016 directing the authority to ensure that no illegal construction was built in the area.Following the order, the GCZMA had issued instructions to the deputy collector to stop any illegal construction.However, in February 2017, the tribunal noted that illegal constructions had been put up on sand dunes, in violation of CRZ Notification. Accordingly, the GCZMA was directed to take remedial action.The tribunal passed further orders to ensure demolition of illegal structures from time to time, with direction to the concerned police station to provide police protection in the course of demolition.
Arambol: The scene at Arambol is set — neon fabric drapes the trees, billows of smoke emanate from chillums and fire dancers cast a fleeting light on people invoking Lord Shiva. While a war rages between Ukraine and Russia, their citizens holidaying here in Goa were organising parties for Mahashivratri. Monday night saw several events organised by foreigners at Morjim and Arambol. A party held in an empty space in front of a house at the far end of Arambol village had at least 200 guests, mostly foreigners, dancing to Shiva and Ganesh stotras and devotional songs in the Indipop style. While they may be in a distant country, war is not far from their minds. This past week, citizens of the two nations residing in Arambol, Ashvem and Morjim along the state’s northern coastal belt tapped several modes of spreading the message of peace, including by way of a mini-carnival conceptualised by the Russian community in the Arambol-Morjim area. Although the theme of the event was ‘Save the bees, save the flowers’, there was a sprinkling of calls for peace. Last Monday, a group of Ukrainians held a peace march at Arambol beach. While no Russians participated, they agreed that the war should end at the earliest. “I don’t like war and am all for peace,” said Lisa, a Russian who is in Goa with her family for a month-long vacation. Although she did not attend the protest march, she questioned why its participants were holding Ukraine flags when the march was all about peace. Another Russian, Arsenij, who has been in Goa for a little over a month, said he was extremely worried when he heard his country had begun invading Ukraine. “For two days on the trot, I read only war-related news on the internet. But there is a lot of propaganda and it is unclear as to what exactly is going on,” he said. While he added that he would like to stay longer in Goa and work, a 40-year-old Ukrainian woman nearby preferred to take in the sunset from her deck bed rather than speak about the fighting in her country. On Sunday, another rally as well as a concert will be held in Arambol. Anxiety about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has petered down to the local community too — from the shack owners and taxi drivers to even those who hardly keep abreast with the news. They worry not so much about how the war has damaged Ukraine, but about the impact it is likely to have on their tottering businesses which were only just picking up after being battered by three waves of the Covid-19 pandemic. “There can’t be a solution to the problem unless (Russian president) Vladimir Putin is made to sit across the table and discuss,” Inacio Daniel, a shack owner at Arambol said, as he attempted to delve into the geopolitics of war. It appeared that business in Goa would pick up after the third wave, he rued, despite the arrival of fewer Russian tourists. “In a few days, Russian and Kazakh tourists will be without money. Some are already returning empty-handed from ATMs as their economies are in the doldrums,” he said. Goa presently receives one chartered tourist flight from Russia every 10 days and one a week from Kazakhstan. There have been no charters from Ukraine this season. Another local maintained that Russians staying long periods in Goa do not necessarily depend on remittances from home. “They have their own sources of income. Some of their events are close-knit and organised for their people, although even Indians are allowed,” the villager said. Like Monday night’s Mahashivratri party at Arambol, the events are ticketed, include food and beverages, and are held in the evenings, mostly in a courtyard or an empty space outside a house located away from populated parts of the village. Mandrem, Arambol and Morjim fit their requirement perfectly, thanks to the symbiosis they share with the local communities whose houses, courtyards and even terraces are given on long lease to Russians and other long-staying foreign tourists.
Around 50 people got together for another peaceful anti-war protest in Arambol on Monday, with a message to stop war and stop killing civilians. The protesters included people from Ukraine, Russians living in Goa, and Indians and they stood in solidarity with the people in Ukraine. Ukrainian nationals shared stories of what their families in their home country were going through. Denis Chernenko, a Ukrainian origin, with a Russian passport, who lives in Arambol and was one of the organisers of the protest, said, “The message we want to send out is ‘stop war’, ‘stop killing civilians’ and ‘we want peace’. I just want my mother and grandmother in Ukraine to be safe and don’t want civilians being threatened, injured and killed.” Yevheniya Marenych from Ukraine, who lives in Goa, said, “What’s happening now in Ukraine is unacceptable. No country deserves to be bombed and invaded in our modern world. People of Ukraine want to be with their president and tell Russia – hands off Ukraine.” Talking about her family back home, she says, “My family is in Kharkiv now and are in danger, under the bombs and I just pray that all stay alive. There are air raid sirens all day for the last three days and it’s not even possible to evacuate them.” Rahul Jamad, based in Tivim, who took part in the protest, said, “We joined the ‘anti-war’ protest because our friend is Ukrainian and her parents were feeding and counselling Indian students stuck in Kyiv despite being war victims themselves. It stirred up something inside us, we wanted to show our solidarity to those who are fighting to stay humane and compassionate despite their homes beings bombed and their lives being upturned. Above all, we believe that ordinary citizens around the world want peace, and that only through collective will and action, can we change the world. We stand with victims of war everywhere.”
Panaji: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has issued a notice to the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA), asking it to respond within six weeks in a case of environmental damage by a CRZ offender on the Arambol coast. The notice was issued after an applicant approached the Tribunal stating that GCZMA discharged a show cause notice issued against the violator, after the offender removed the illegalities. The GCZMA, he said, has acted in defiance of the law as the ecology of the place has been left affected by the environmental damage caused by the illegal construction. “On the basis of the fact that respondent no.2 (violator) had rectified the illegalities and violations noticed in the previous inspection report, in complete defiance of the provisions of law and neglecting the depletion and destruction to the environment and ecology of the Arambol beach, the respondent no.1 (GCZMA) has, vide order impugned discharged the impugned show cause notice,” the applicant told the NGT. The applicant has challenged an order passed by the GCZMA on November 12, 2021. According to the applicant, the offender had raised certain constructions in violation of CRZ Notification, 2018, and a complaint was filed before GCZMA seeking necessary action. However, the applicant said that GCZMA failed to act and he had to file a writ petition before the high court of Bombay in Goa. The applicant had pointed out that the construction on Arambol coast in Pernem had been carried out within 200m from the High Tide Line (HTL). After the high court order was also not complied with, the complainant filed first and second contempt petition, and only then an inspection was done by GCZMA, the appeal before the NGT states. Following the inspection, violations of the CRZ notification were found and the committee recommended demolition of the offending structures. “For reasons best known to the GCZMA, they again constituted a committee and inspected the site”, the applicant told the NGT. Based on this second inspection report, as the violator had taken down the illegal structures, the show cause notice was withdrawn and no further action taken. The matter is listed to be heard next by the Tribunal on April 8, 2022.
Laxmikant Parsekar’s decision to throw his hat into the ring as an independent candidate for the eletions has changed political equations in Mandrem. What seemed like a straight fight between BJP and MGP has now turned triangular. Sitting BJP legislator and its candidate now Dayanand Sopte, MGP candidate Jit Arolkar and Parsekar as an independent are all jostling for the seat. “Anger has been brewing against Sopte for the last three years, while anger against Parsekar (which led to his defeat in 2017) has subsided. Jit is being looked at as a new and young face for the constituency,” a political observer said. Most in the constituency believe that the fight will be a close one with a winning margin of less than a thousand votes, probably decided by the silent voter. If Parsekar manages to win, it will be the first for an independent candidate in Mandrem. It will also be a major embarrassment for BJP as the party denied him the ticket, stating that the veteran politician was not in a position to win from here, as per results of its internal survey. After Parsekar became the chief minister in the year 2014, when Manohar Parrikar was elevated to the position of defence minister in the Union cabinet, he was more focused on administration which led to him losing touch with the constituents. “Parsekar has now started realising that connect with people is of utmost importance. He has started approaching people seeking their support,” said a resident of Arambol. A Mandrem resident said Sopte’s confidence has been sky-high since he defeated Parsekar with a margin of over 7000 votes in 2017. Even in the byelection as a BJP candidate, he won by a margin of 4,000 votes. “His arrogance has now forced people to move away from him. Parsekar has taken this opportunity to revive his political career,” the resident said. After Parsekar was denied the ticket by BJP, agitated supporters forced him to contest as an independent candidate. Soon enough, he quit the party after an association of 32 years. For the first time, Congress, who has won the constituency twice, including in 2017, has left the seat to its alliance partner Goa Forward. Former BJP zilla panchayat member Deepak Kalangutkar is now the alliance candidate. “In addition to Congress votes, there are over 4,500 minority voters in the constituency. It would be interesting to see whom these voters support as Congress doesn’t have a candidate,” a political observer said. A minority voter from Morjim said with Parsekar breaking ties with BJP, he could now be an option. “Parsekar is a respectable person in the constituency, but we were reluctant to vote for him as he belonged to BJP. We can now think of him as an option,” he said. Arolkar, too, has enough goodwill in the constituency. “In times of Covid pandemic, it was Jit who reached out to people. Without being part of the government, he has gone out of his way to do people’s personal work,” said a resident of Arambol. “During every election, there is polarisation between Maratha and Bhandari community. But this time, the intensity has increased to a very large extent,” a political observer said, adding that Parsekar is a strong candidate from the Maratha community. The roles of former legislators Ramakant Khalap and Sangeeta Parab, both with a good voter base in Mandrem, are also being looked at with keen interest. After joining BJP, Sopte was rewarded with the chairmanship of Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC), which helped him take up developmental projects of over Rs 500 crore in the coastal constituency. Whether that’s enough remains to be seen.
The new year weekend witnessed 25 rescues along the coast, with 14 rescues on the 1st of January and 11 rescues on 2nd Jan, 24 of which were from Calangute. Goa has seen a surge in tourist arrival in December, especially the new year weekend, with most of the tourists headed straight for the beaches. In response to the increased tourist visits to the beach, Drishti Marine has deployed additional lifesavers across beaches in north and south Goa especially on popular beaches such as Calangute, Morjim, Arambol, Baga, Sinquerim, Miramar, Agonda, Benaulim, Colva, and Palolem.
PANAJI: Pernem Police on Saturday arrested a gang of eight drug peddlers who had come to Goa from Mumbai âto conduct illicit tradeâ, PI Jivba Dalvi said. The arrests were made after police received credible information that a gang of drug peddlers from Mumbai was operative in the jungle around Sweet Lake in Arambol. Arambol beach is visited by both domestic and foreign tourists. âAfter a tip-off, some cops posed as prospective customers to establish contact with the peddlers. Their location was confirmed. Eight were found staying in a resort,â Dalvi said. âA thorough search was conducted, and they were found to be in alleged possession of various types of drugs, and were supplying drugs to tourists. The drugs worth Rs Rs 1.2 lakh were seized from them,â he said. Alex Romeo, 25 Jeffrey Rodrigues, 24, Sagar Jadhav, 21, Adrian Kingston , 21, Rohit Zende, 20, Rushikesh Mahadik, 21, Vaibhav Shigwan, 21, and Prem Londhe, 19 have been arrested. The police team was headed by Dalvi, while PSIs Praful Giri and Harish Vaigunkar, head constables Uday Gosavi, Arjun Kalangutkar, Swapnil Shirodkar, Vinod Pednekar, and Bhaskar Chari assisted.