Canacona News

40 yrs before Liberation, Mallikarjun institute stoked Liceum revolution
Times of India | 3 days ago | |
Times of India
3 days ago | |

Margao/Canacona: Forty years before Goa’s Liberation, a group of young people from Canacona aspired to have the intellectually liberating force of Liceum (higher secondary education) spread to the southern-most taluka.Their mission fructified on December 28, 1922, with the establishment of Centro Promotor de Instrucao de Canacona or Centre for Promotion of Education of Canacona (CPI). On September 3, 1923, the initiative got the stamp of approval from the then governor of Portuguese Goa, Dr Jaime Alberto De Castro Moraes. The CPI’s Institute Liceal Shree Mallikarjun, which later evolved into Shree Mallikarjun High School and Higher Secondary School, is celebrating its centennial year of inception.Governor P S Sreedharan Pillai will inaugurate the year-long celebration of the institution on Saturday.“That was a time when students of Canacona had to travel to Ponda using antiquated transport facilities,” said Vikas Desai, a former president of the institution. “They had to travel by bullock cart to Sanvordem via Quepem. From Sanvordem, they had to board a ‘vapor’ (ferry boat) that would take them across to Durbhat, from where they had to walk a few miles to the school.”In 1918-19, the influenza pandemic broke out which claimed the life of a young lad from Canacona. Struck by fear, the people of Canacona didn’t let their children travel to Ponda to school. “Fortuitously,” added Desai, “that led to the setting up of the institution.” Somnath Komarpant, a writer and former head of the department of Marathi, Goa University, is among the alumni of the school. Reminiscing about the days spent in the school soon after Liberation, Komarpant said that the school functioned from a structure sans walls and covered by tarpaulin sheets. The facilities were rudimentary. “But the dedication of our teachers was legendary,” said Komarpant, who made a special mention of his principal, H R Prabhu and Nayak Sir from Sadolxem, Kanta Bhaireli, Nanda Gaitonde and others. “Nayak Sir had to cross the river on a canoe to come to the school. And often when the only boatman was unavailable, Nayak Sir would himself row the canoe using a bamboo stick as an oar,” Komarpant said. “Such was his humility that he would bow to the students in his peculiar style soon after entering the classroom.” Expressing his gratitude to the school for sowing among the students the seeds of nationalism, Komarpant said he owes it to his teachers for “making a man” out of him.

40 yrs before Liberation, Mallikarjun institute stoked Liceum revolution
‘Leadership rift setback for tribal movement’
Times of India | 4 weeks ago | |
Times of India
4 weeks ago | |

Margao: Speaker of the Goa legislative assembly and a leader of the tribal community in the state, Ramesh Tawadkar, has acknowledged that the tribal movement in the state has suffered a setback primarily owing to a rift among the leadership of their associations.“It’s true that groupism among the tribal community has led to the tribal movement losing its momentum,” Tawadkar said in a conversation with TOI. “The tendency of one upmanship among some leaders has led to this situation. Our strength lies in the coming together of the tribal communities and working as one.” While the differences among the tribal leaders have come to the fore of late, this is the first time that a prominent leader of the tribes has candidly admitted to the rift. Tawadkar recently, in his capacity as the chairman of Adarsh Yuva Sangh, a social and cultural organisation, successfully organised the 22nd edition of Lokotsav, an adivasi festival, in his home town, Amone, Poinguinim. It was under the banner of the United Tribals Associations Alliance (UTAA) that the tribal people had launched an agitation demanding their rights. It had resulted in the infamous agitation of 2011 at Balli, which claimed two tribal lives. Tawadkar was among those who led the agitation from the front.Asked to comment on the criticism that several leaders who had led the tribal movement in the past had now come to hold important positions in the government or had gotten government jobs, which led to the weakening of the tribal movement, Tawadkar said that what was unfortunate was the incitement by some tribal leaders to agitate against him.“I was the tribal MLA in the opposition when the UTAA agitation happened. When BJP formed the government in 2012 and I became the tribal welfare minister, there was a growing expectation among our community that all benefits should be accrued to the scheduled tribes. But it doesn’t work that way in the government. When they speak in terms of agitating against me, the movement loses its meaning. I remained out of the government after 2017, the movement suffered, and the rift is now visible,” Tawadkar said. The Canacona MLA stressed that the tribal movement beginning from the Gakuved agitation — demanding that Gawda, Kunbi, Velips and Dhangars be included in the scheduled tribes category — was championed by him from Canacona. While most of the demands of UTAA have been fulfilled, Tawadkar sounded optimistic that the demand for 12% reservation of assembly seats would be met by the 2027 assembly election. “The biggest challenge now,” Tawadkar said, “is giving back to the tribal community what they have been deprived of. There are many schemes on offer through the tribal subplans in every government department. However, on account of bureaucratic hurdles, the schemes fail to percolate down to the deserving people. Implementation has now begun, and we are closely monitoring it.”

‘Leadership rift setback for tribal movement’
Neglected, many water bodies in Canacona town dying slowly
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

Canacona: Several water bodies in and around Canacona town area, once considered the lifeline of farmers, are dying a slow death. In the absence of efforts from the water resources department and other government bodies to rejuvenate them, these water bodies have been invaded by vegetation and have turned into breeding grounds for mosquitoes, said locals.The ponds are situated amidst fields along the stretch from the Konkan Railway station to the municipality building and the KTC bus stand to Pansulem. The prime among them is the one situated near the KTC bus stand, known as ‘vhoddllem tallem’. “If beautified, this pond has the potential to be promoted as a leisure spot. But first, the NOC is required from its owner,” said Canacona Municipal Council chairperson Ramkant Naikgaunkar. He said efforts are on in this direction.Former Canacona municipal council chairperson Rajendra Desai said that some years ago, the fields around many of these ponds, which are now lying fallow, were used to raise paddy crops in the rabi season. “It’s sad that these fields have been left barren and the water bodies are now invaded by creepers and other vegetation,” he said.“These ponds have water throughout the year and have become breeding grounds for mosquitoes as the water is lying stagnant. Instead of restoring them, the departments seem to be spending money on projects that are not beneficial to all,” said a retired primary school teacher.While one pond at Nagarcem has been restored by the WRD, locals say that some water bodies have been filled up to make way for constructions. “If the fallow areas are not cleaned or developed, they can further turn into concrete jungles,” said the teacher.A senior official from the WRD said that the water bodies can be developed if a proposal comes to the department and they are convinced that after the works are carried out, the water will be utilised for some good purpose.

Neglected, many water bodies in Canacona town dying slowly
1,800 Canacona students go without midday meal
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

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.

1,800 Canacona students go without midday meal
Want to try out farming? Canacona will entice you
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

Margao: Integrated farming blended with eco-tourism is a concept that Goa legislative assembly speaker Ramesh Tawadkar is planning to establish in Canacona soon.While it is still in the conceptual stage, Tawadkar says the project will empower the farmers in a big way while also catapulting Canacona on the eco-tourism map of the world.“The idea is simple,” Tawadkar told TOI. “If a tourist or say, a nature enthusiast, wishes to stay in the village for a month or so and actually try out farming, we will have facilities offering him that very kind of hands-on experience. A farmer will thus have 2-3 rooms built in his field that he will offer as home-stay units. The guest will be able to grow and harvest his own crop or vegetables while also helping the farmer in his regular farming activities.”The farmer will be encouraged to venture into dairy farming and allied activities like a go-shala or cattle breeding centres. Processing of cow urine and cowdung are also lucrative activities that a farmer will be able to try his hands on, Tawadkar said.The Canacona MLA also has his sights set firmly on establishing agro-based industries in Canacona on one lakh sq m of land. Tawadkar said that Rs 60 cr worth of funds have already been sanctioned for the project and once all the modalities about land procurement are worked out, work on the project will begin. This, he said, may take not more than 6 months.Tawadkar said that jackfruit, coconut, kokum and cashew have been identified for setting up food processing units in the initial stage. More fruits will be added later.Integrated farming blended with ecotourism activities will provide lucrative entrepreneurship opportunities for locals, Tawadkar said, while also boosting agriculture.“As agriculture is the mainstay of the village economy of Canacona, the situation is conducive for setting up agro processing units here, and will generate substantial employment for locals,” Tawadkar said.

Want to try out farming? Canacona will entice you
Canacona doctor gets public notice to vacate dialysis unit
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

CANACONA: The state government, through a public notice issued on Saturday, has served an ultimatum to Dr Ranganathan Venkatesh, who runs the dialysis unit at the Community Health Centre, Canacona, asking him to vacate the premises by December 31, 2022. He has also been warned of appropriate action as per the law. It is learnt that as the letter served to Dr Venkatesh by post was returned by the postal authority undelivered, the health department decided to serve a public notice, asking the doctor to furnish relevant information by December 15, 2022. Speaking to TOI, Dr Venkatesh said that no such notice has been served. He also said that a copy of his special leave petition (SLP) before the Supreme Court has been served to the government advocate as well as the governor, chief minister and other authorities concerned. The SLP is likely to be listed by next week, he said. Dr Venkatesh said that he started the dialysis unit in Canacona at the Community Health Centre, in December 2002 and claimed that this was the first dialysis unit at the PHC level in India. He informed that he has about 48 dialysis patients undergoing regular dialysis. "Not a penny is charged to the patient as the government was paying Rs 540 per treatment since 2003, and as of now it is Rs 1,100. The same treatment in a private hospital costs approximately Rs 5,500 per treatment," he said. He regretted that the government stopped his payment abruptly from March 2021, and said that, as of now, his payments of up to Rs 1.5 crore are pending with the government. "My SLP before the apex court is pending. The government should first clear my payments. If this is done, I am ready to hand over the unit at any time. So let us wait and watch what the SC says in a week's time," Dr Venkatesh said.

Canacona doctor gets public notice to vacate dialysis unit
Celebrating Tribal Culture
Times of India | 1 month ago | |
Times of India
1 month ago | |

The annual Lokotsav at Canacona provides a glimpse into the indigenous world of herbal healing, organic cooking and an eco-friendly way of living, and establishes adivasi identity... As one drives along the winding roads of Cotigao in Canacona, it’s hard to miss that something big is afoot. The air is filled with excitement and the pungent smell of freshly-laid asphalt. Village folk are brimming with anticipation as the forest resthouse is being spruced up, roadside trees getting trimmed, the innumerable cowsheds that dot the roads are getting a new thatched roof, and the ridge-topped haystacks in fields are tidied up. From the crossroads, a narrow road leads to Amone, a hamlet deep within the wildlife sanctuary, where lies the ancestral house of the speaker of Goa legislative assembly, Ramesh Tawadkar, who has been hosting Lokotsav, the annual adivasi festival in his home town for the last 21 years, under the aegis of Adarsh Yuvak Sangh, an organisation he founded in 1995. This year, though President Droupadi Murmu was invited for the inaugural session of the 22nd edition of the three-day festival on December 9, her arrival seems unlikely owing to the Prime Minister’s visit to the state scheduled just two days later.Inside his cousin Sanjay’s house next door, a thinktank meeting is under way as logistics and other modalities for the event are ironed out.Over two decades ago, when Tawadkar and other like-minded youth with revolutionary ideas started Lokotsav, the tribal communities had stayed alienated from mainstreaming efforts and thus marginalised, largely due to state apathy. “It was precisely to showcase this evolution of tribal civilisation and allow the tribals to take pride in and celebrate their adivasi culture that Lokotsav was devised. The tribal folk placed their trust in our leadership and participated wholeheartedly. They derived a sense of belonging and fulfillment from it. Lokotsav has served as an invaluable tool for stirring an intellectual revolution,” Tawadkar explains.With tribals from other states also having begun to participate in Lokotsav since last year, the festival has been catapulted to an event of national eminence. While eight states participated in 2021, troupes from 12 states are expected to showcase their tribal culture this time around.“The tribal community is inherently related to nature,” Diwakar Velip, an ayurveda doctor from Gaondongrim, who is closely associated with the organisation of the festival, tells TOI. “While the community is dependent on nature for its livelihood, they are conservationists who protect the land and water resources of the forests. The tribal culture, their cuisine, their agriculture practices, their eco-friendly way of living, their traditional herbal medicines sourced from the forests, contribute to their health and well-being. Lokotsav seeks to give a glimpse of this to the outside world.”Metres away, a steep descent over boulders leads to a typical tribal house in front of which a group of women are pounding paddy with wooden pestles and grinding pulses on traditional stone apparatus to prepare the various delectable and nutritious eatables for Lokotsav. With a spring in their steps and a song on their lips, the women move rhythmically as they perform these chores. The flour is then stored in containers prepared from coconut or palm leaves. “It’s always been like this for us,” says a woman, “we have not departed from tradition.”Next door, octogenarian Shaba Velip has just returned after scouring the jungle for herbs. Shaba is a much sought-after healer who learnt the art and science of herbal medicine from his father and has now equipped his son and daughter-in-law with the rudiments. “There is an antidote forevery malady,” says the daughter-in-law, pointing to the packets with herbal powders and some tree barks lined neatly in a corner. “People from various corners of Goa, some from outside the state, come here for their stock of medicine.Lokotsav has made my father-in-law a popular healer,” she says. Lokotsav has provided a platform to scores of people from this region to showcase their healing prowess to the modern world.Pradip Maske, associate professor in political science, describes the tribal culture as “a highly evolved civilisational heritage”.“Historically,” Maske says, “the tribal communities—Gauda, Kunbi, Velip, Dhangar and others—nursed the landscape of Goa ecologically, culturally, socially, economically and evolved the village republic, despite migrations and dynasties that brought the region under its rule. The idea that one can make money from a dead tree was unknown to the original settlers of Goa. The tribal communities are attached to land, water, forest, livestock and wildlife. They evolved an eco-friendly lifestyle, customs and practices for ages.”Tawadkar has a vision of transforming the three-day annual event into a 365-day affair. “The idea is to have activities year-round at Adarsh Gram on a self-sustainable revenue model. The focus will be on three key areas — ecotourism, agro processing, and adventure activities. We also plan to have accommodation facilities for tourists so that a two-day tourism circuit can be woven into their travel itinerary,” the Goa speaker said. Jungle safari, nature trail, bird watching, watersports, yoga, meditation, trekking, are some of the activities that are planned to be launched next year.The long-term objective of Lokotsav, Tawadkar says, is to make the indigenous communities ‘atmanirbhar’ and ‘swavalambi’ (self-reliant). “For the adivasi samaj, life has always been a struggle and about overcoming challenges. Our endeavour is to integrate these issues into Lokotsav and empower the tribal community with the wherewithal and resources to find solutions,” he says. The depiction of adivasi civilisation at Lokotsav helps a viewer understand and appreciate the various aspects of tribal culture, heritage and cuisine. Spread over 65,000 sq m, there will be seven stages where performances will be held simultaneously, apart from the several arenas for sports and adventure activities. Tribal cuisine is another interesting feature of adivasi culture — the mouthwatering yet nutritious dishes like sanna, patoleo, kismur, chunna bhakri, suva bhakri, etc are a food aficionado’s delight. “The roots of Goan culture lie in adivasi civilisation as the tribals were the original settlers of this land,” Tawadkar says. “This needs to come before the people in an authentic manner. At Lokotsav, every aspect of tribal culture is presented in a manner that leaves a viewer asking for more.”

Celebrating Tribal Culture
Canacona MLA cautions contractor on council building work
Times of India | 2 months ago | |
Times of India
2 months ago | |

Canacona: If the construction work of the Rs 11 crore 3-storey administrative-cum-commercial building of the Canacona Municipal Council (CMC) is not carried out as per the specifications and designs, then it will not be tolerated said assembly speaker and Canacona MLA Ramesh Tawadkar, in a veiled warning to the contractor of the Goa State Urban Development Agency.Councillors have been complaining of the delays in works during the monthly council meetings and also the faulty designs, he said.Recently, the matter was brought to the notice of the Canacona MLA by CMC chairperson Ramakant Naik Gaunkar and a joint inspection was also held .CMC complained of non-availability of the construction plan at the work site besides faulty execution of the work. They also highlighted the poor quality construction material and lack of curing for the structure.The contractor said that the site was handed over to him one and half year late. “Initially, the demolition of the old building had to be done by the CMC. We waited for it to happen for more than six months. Only in April could the work start. I will try my best to complete it in the given timeframe,” he added.Initially, demolition of the old building had to be done by the CMC. We waited for it to happen for more than six months. Only in April could the work start. I will try my best to complete it in the given timeframe

Canacona MLA cautions contractor on council building work
Travel gets hards as train halts at Canacona yet to resume
Times of India | 2 months ago | |
Times of India
2 months ago | |

Canacona: Travellers have a reason to be happy as the Canacona railway authorities will soon start the Pernem-Karwar DEMU and Margao-Mangaluru Central DEMU trains which will stop at Canacona. However, some passengers are still waiting for the railways authorities to resume halts of long-distance trains at Canacona Except for two local passenger trains, no distant trains stop at Canacona Konkan Railway Station since their last halt in March 2021. The service was stopped altogether due to the Covid -19 outbreak.The services of the three long-distance trains that made halts at Canacona station—Netravati Express, Matsyagandha Express (daily) and Gandhidham Express (Weekly)—were discontinued following their last halts on March 24, 2021. As the overall Covid-19 situation improved and some trains, though limited, have resumed their schedules, halts at many KRC stations, including KRC Canacona, were not permitted due to different reasons.The Canacona KRC staff say that due to the unavailability/posting of medical staff at KRC Canacona no train halts were permitted after the schedule was resumed partially.“It’s not only an injustice to visiting tourists, but the locals, in particular, are badly affected,” a local said.The ticket quota previously issued here has also not resumed, inconveniencing many commuters. “With no halts to any trains, issuance of tickets of the Canacona quota cannot be resumed,” said a source at Canacona station. The ticket counter is open only for local passenger trains like Margao-Karwar, Mangaluru-Margao.While all trains have resumed their regular itinerary along the Konkan route, Netravati Express, Matsyagandha Express, and Gandhidham Express, which previously had a halt, do not stop at Canacona railway station

Travel gets hards as train halts at Canacona yet to resume
Goa: Canacona will get master plan to boost tourism, says Rohan Khaunte
Times of India | 2 months ago | |
Times of India
2 months ago | |

MARGAO: Minister for tourism Rohan Khaunte said that a master plan will soon be prepared for the development of Canacona constituency from the point of view of tourism. Introduction of air-conditioned bus service by Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) from Panaji to Canacona for 'Canacona darshan' and development of various spots into places of tourist attraction are among the proposals that were discussed by Khaunte with speaker and Canacona MLA Ramesh Tawadkar during the former's two-day tour of the constituency. Addressing reporters, Khaunte said that to provide a fillip to tourism activities in Canacona, the master plan will be divided into three categories - short-term goals, mid-term goals and long-term measures. While all infrastructure development works to be taken up under state government funds will be classified under short-term goals, financial assistance for the other two categories will be sought under the central government scheme, Prime Minister's Swadesh Darshan. Stating that some people are trying to misguide people over Mopa and Dabolim airports, Khaunte said that the government has maintained that no airport will be closed in Goa. He said that the government was committed for development of both South Goa and North Goa, equally, to improve the state's economy. "We plan to create a whole circuit with agro-tourism, wellness tourism, water sports, spiritual tourism, adventure tourism and eco-tourism. We will ensure one central package happens for Canacona and Sanguem talukas," Khaunte added. Stating that the nature of tourism has changed post-Covid with expectations of tourists changing with time, Khaunte stressed on the need for a course correction to maintain the most preferred tourist destination tag. "We are making Canacona a preferred destination among most preferred tourist destinations in Goa. We have identified new avenues such as eagle feeding, beach-coves, butterfly beach and honeymoon beach. We will ensure that water sports follow regulations and illegalities are curbed," the tourism minister said.

Goa: Canacona will get master plan to boost tourism, says Rohan Khaunte
  • Canacona will get master plan to boost tourism, says Khaunte
  • Times of India

    Margao: Minister for tourism Rohan Khaunte said that a master plan will soon be prepared for the development of Canacona constituency from the point of view of tourism.Introduction of air-conditioned bus service by Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) from Panaji to Canacona for ‘Canacona darshan’ and development of various spots into places of tourist attraction are among the proposals that were discussed by Khaunte with speaker and Canacona MLA Ramesh Tawadkar during the former’s two-day tour of the constituency.Addressing reporters, Khaunte said that to provide a fillip to tourism activities in Canacona, the master plan will be divided into three categories – short-term goals, mid-term goals and long-term measures. While all infrastructure development works to be taken up under state government funds will be classified under short-term goals, financial assistance for the other two categories will be sought under the central government scheme, Prime Minister’s Swadesh Darshan.Stating that some people are trying to misguide people over Mopa and Dabolim airports, Khaunte said that the government has maintained that no airport will be closed in Goa. He said that the government was committed for development of both South Goa and North Goa, equally, to improve the state’s economy.“We plan to create a whole circuit with agro-tourism, wellness tourism, water sports, spiritual tourism, adventure tourism and eco-tourism. We will ensure one central package happens for Canacona and Sanguem talukas,” Khaunte added.Stating that the nature of tourism has changed post-Covid with expectations of tourists changing with time, Khaunte stressed on the need for a course correction to maintain the most preferred tourist destination tag.“We are making Canacona a preferred destination among most preferred tourist destinations in Goa. We have identified new avenues such as eagle feeding, beach-coves, butterfly beach and honeymoon beach. We will ensure that water sports follow regulations and illegalities are curbed,” the tourism minister said.