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Felicitation function of Eminent Goans organized by Goa Cultural and Social Centre in association with Chubby Cheeks Spring Valley High School at Porvorim on 08/09/2012

President, Mr. Francis Noronha, Gen. Dr. Sunith Rodrigues, M.L.A, Shri Rohan Khaunte, General Secretary, Shri Thomas Fernandes, Headmistress, Mrs. Selena D'Souza and members of Goa Cultural and Social Centre.

For many years I have been hearing of the activities of Goa Cultural and Social Centre. It is for the first time today that I have the pleasure to be associated with one such function and that too which is being held to honour a very special and distinguished son of Goa, Gen (Retd) Dr. Sunith Rodrigues. It is praiseworthy that Goa Cultural and Social Centre holds such functions. Sons and daughters of Goa who are achievers like Dr. Sunith Rodrigues who represent the identity of our land. They are the product of the culture of our land, therefore, they represent this culture. All this is the cause for us to celebrate what signifies their achievements.

I am reminded of a landmark resolution on the Statehood of Goa moved in the Goa Legislative Assembly by late Shi Ananta Narcinva Naik better known as Babu Naik a great political leader of Goa. It was in 1971 and it was acknowledged by the then Speaker, late Gopal Appa Kamat as a masterpiece of literature. It was passed amid thunderous applause.

In this speech, late Babu Naik spoke about the world leaders, scientists, musicians and artists Goa gave to the world and went on to ask whether such a place can be termed as small. Can a small or culturally barren place ever produce giants he asked?

He spoke many things about Goa, but these were the last sentences of his speech: "Goa is destined not only to be independent State, not just a viable State but an economically, flourishing and culturally influential State". Unquote Today's Goa is known world over to a very large extent by the achievements of the past generation.

These men of idealism, commitment, knowledge and character have left behind the Goa we have. But today's Goa -the more I think of her, the more gloomy I become. Are we on the path of self destruction?

We need people like Gen Rodrigues, like Prof. Narana Coissorro, former Deputy Speaker of Portuguese Parliament and President of Casa de Goa, men like Mr. Fritz R D'Souza, Freedom Fighter and Former Deputy Speaker of Kenyan Parliament.We need musical legends like Mr. Noel Flores and Mrs. Patricia do Rozario artists like Agostinho Fernandes, celebrated poet Bakibab Borkar and Justice Wolfango Dourado, Prof. V.M. Kenkre, Prof. of Physics and Astronomy, Dr. Floirano De Mello and so many others, the list is unending, in order to inspire us. The new generation should follow in the footprints left by the past eminent Goans on the sand of times.

We have to create a proper environment for social values to thrive and this is not an easy task before us. Probably, one of the ways to achieve this dream is by organizing such functions so as to honour the living celebrities and remember the past ones.

It would be ideal for Goa Cultural and Social Centre to invite eminent people to deliver lectures (may be once in a year) to talk on Eminent Goans of the past. Lectures could be arranged so that today's Goa's achievers talk on the field of their achievements and advise our youth about the path to success they should follow. They themselves would be the source of inspiration to the present generation.

It is important that every individual should know about the history/culture of his native land. Our children should know more and more about Goa, her sons and daughters who brought laurels to Goa, men and women who have made Goa proud who have brought honour and respect to this tiny State.

Goa Cultural and Social Centre and such other organizations should take a lead in this direction. The Government of Chief Minister, Shri Manohar Parrikar himself an erudite Goan will surely give a helping hand to such worthy endeavours.

The Government of Goa is taking yet another step in fulfilling the Bharatiya Janata Party manifesto for the 2012 general elections. The Hon. Chief Minister alongwith the Minister for Social Welfare will launch the Griha Aadhar Scheme which will help the housewives to a great extent to overcome the increase in prices of essential commodities which affects every household. Under this scheme an amount of Rs.1,000/- per month will be provided directly at the hands of the housewives/homemakers to achieve the above objective.

The Government of Goa under the able leadership of Shri Manohar Parrikar has taken every possible step to alleviate the suffering of the people beginning with bringing in down the price rise of petrol by cutting down on vat. It was followed by Ladli Laximi Scheme and the Seamen Welfare Scheme and increase in financial assistance to the DSS Scheme from Rs.1000/- to Rs.2,000/-. Shortly, a scheme by the name "Goenchem Daiz" will come into effect wherein Goans engaged in traditional occupations will be benefitted.

The objective of all these schemes is to address the problem of spiraling prices and to provide support to the housewives/homemakers/families from middle, lower middle and poor section of the society, to maintain a reasonable standard of living for their families.

The Bharatiya Janata Party wants to assure the people of Goa that its Government, by virtue of good governance, will endevour in every possible manner to alleviate the hardships faced by the people irrespective of caste, creed and religion.