Goa Liberation Day 2018 Speech
MESSAGE OF HON’BLE GOVERNOR ON THE OCCASION OF GOA LIBERATION DAY – 19TH DECEMBER, 2018.
My dear fellow citizens,
On the joyous occasion of Liberation Day of Goa, I extend my greetings and good wishes to the people of Goa.
2. Goa, the 25th State in the union of India, was liberated from Portuguese rule in 1961. It was a part of Union Territory of Goa, Daman & Diu till 30th may 1987 when it was carved out to form a separate State.
3. 19th December is indeed a landmark day, not only for the people of Goa, but the people of the rest of our country, as well, because, it was on this day, in the year 1961, that the last vestige of colonial rule ended on Indian soil, thanks to the prolonged struggles made by our spirited and selfless freedom fighters, and the action of our brave jawans of our Defence Forces, who took over the territory. I am sure; the heart of every Goan is filled with inspiration and reverence, when she or he recalls the glorious contribution of the martyrs and freedom fighters, to the noble cause of liberation. I think the annual celebration of this day itself is a glorious tribute to their sacred memory.
4. Goa being a land of unique scenic beauty is well known for its tourist attractions. It is therefore, no wonder that tourist from all walks of life flock in lakhs every year to this tiny but picturesque land. Although it is one of the smallest states in India, Goa offers an abundance of places to visit as per each ones need. Goa offers a variety of beaches to suit any holiday style, temples, churches and historical places etc. Whether the priority is relaxation, partying or experiencing culture, Goa has everything that is needed to satisfy all its visitors all round the year. Goa is located in the western region of India. It is traditionally known as a tourist paradise for its natural scenery, unique beaches and cultural diversity.
5. Goa is one of the fastest growing states in the country. Its economic growth is driven by the strong performance of industrial sectors such as IT, Agriculture, Tourism and Pharmaceuticals. Goa has a well-developed social, physical and industrial infrastructure and virtual connectivity. It has an international airport at Dabolim and Goa will also soon boast of having a second International Airport at Mopa which is still under construction. It also has significant port infrastructure.
6. The state of Goa is an emerging destination for knowledge-based industries such as biotechnology and IT. With the aim of boosting the development of Goa using innovation and technology, the Government launched Goa IT Policy in July 2018 with the aim of creating 10K jobs. I am happy to know that with the new IT policy 2018, the Goa government plans to attract at least five large multinational IT companies and help create 8,000–10,000 jobs for locals. The Goa IT policy 2018 focuses on infrastructure development, fiscal incentives, governance, and human resource development. In April 2018, the state government launched its startup policy and website with an aim to promote Goa as one of the most preferred startup destinations of India and to feature in the top 25 startup destinations in Asia by 2025. I think, along with the state’s continued commitment to innovation and development, the IT and startup policies are big steps for Goa to become the leader it envisions to be.
7. Tourism being the strength of Goa, the government strives to bring about a lot of improvement and to be better year after year in the field of Tourism. Another mile stone this year was the Goa Tourism Development Corporation’s first ever App-based taxi service launched in August this year. The app-based taxi service, called “Goa Miles” will ensure that commuters are not cheated and at the same time would increase the earnings of taxi drivers. The Goa Miles service would help bring about transparency in fares for the customers. Besides, the Tourism Department has participated in various events in the country as well as internationally in order to promote Goa Tourism. It is a matter of pride for all of us that the State of Goa bagged a National Tourism Award (NTA) for the second year in a row.
8. The State of Goa has a literacy rate of 88.7% approximately. With IIT Goa which started in 2016, Goa is also planning to set up an Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research and Indian Institute of Management by 2035, to become a leading educational hub in the country. Cities like Vasco, Margao and Panaji are also proposed to be developed as smart cities in the state.
9. 2018 marked the 150th Birth Anniversary of our beloved father of the nation, Mahatam Gandhi ji. To mark the celebration a number of events were organized throughout the State. I flagged off Prabhat pheri of school children from Old Goa on 2nd October,2018. ‘Bhavanjali’- A Shraddhanjali to Mahatma Gandhi through Bhajans on the eve of 150th Birth Anniversary celebrations was organized at Rajbahavan, Goa on 2.10.2018. Also in collaboration with Government departments, an event ‘Gandhi Samagra’, was conducted all throughout the state. The said event included Prabhat ferries at Constituency level and village level. Various other programmes were organized, such as essay competition, street plays etc. I also suggested to hold a slogan writing competition on different themes of Gandhian Philoshophy, which was conducted at secondary and higher secondary and college level all through the State. The awards for the winners of the competition will be presented by me, at the at-home function on 19th December, Goa liberation Day.
10. I would also like to tell you all that I have initiated the skill development programme in Bee-keeping, Pottery and Charkhas, this year. I launched the Bee-Keeper’s Training under “Honey Mission” programme at Raj Bhavan from 23rd January to 25th January in coordination with Khadi and Village Industries Commission, functioning Under Ministry of MSME, Govt. of India, New Delhi. A Demonstration Cum Training center of New Model Charkha was set up at Raj Bhavan. The Programme was attended by 25 nos. of farmers who were identified by Agriculture Department (ATMA), Goa, from different parts of Goa for undergoing the Bee- keeping Training. The training was imparted by the KVIC indentified voluntary organization. Solar Pottery Wheels were distributed to traditional potters of Morjim Village under the promotional activity.
11. I launched the Prime Minister Jan Aarogya Yojana- Ayushman Bharat health scheme in Goa on 23rd September 2018, which will benefit 36,500 families. The scheme was launched nationwide by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi which will ensure better health to weaker sections of the society. “The scheme of the central government, which ensures health cover of Rs 5 lakh to the beneficiaries, will help save lives of many people in the country and will prove to be a boon to the weaker section of the society, thus enabling them to secure their health. “When money is lost, we can earn it but if health is lost, everything is lost.”
12. It is appreciating how the State Government tries to give best medical facility to the people in the State. One such facility was the launch of 20 bike ambulances to deal with casualties in the tourism belt and other emergencies cases such as road mishaps, drowning etc. The two-wheeler ambulances are equipped with basic life-saving equipment and two oxygen cylinders and will serve as rapid service at places where 108 ambulances (four-wheeler) cannot reach.
13. Swachh Bharat Mission has always been close to my heart and I have made a lot of efforts, as a brand ambassador of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan to create better awareness among people for maintaining cleanliness at all places in the State. The Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi ji launched a campaign ‘Swachta hi Sewa’ from 15.09.2018 to 1.10.2018. Many programmes and events took place under this campaign all around the State. As a part of ‘Swatcha hi Seva’ movement, on 26th September, I visited the Solid Waste Management plant at Saligao. During the visit I interacted with the workers about their safety concerns. I had a meeting with the officials and discussed about the function and operation of the plant. On 27th September, I visited the Biomedical Waste Management (BMW) and Sewage Treatment Plant at Goa Medical College, Bambolim, near the city. I convened a review meeting of all nominated ambassadors from across the country for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan at Raj Bhavan. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has taken the form of revolution and its effects can be seen all over the country and there had been significant behavioural change in the community towards cleanliness. I appealed to all the participants to prepare an action plan for Swachh Bharat Mission for next one year commencing from Gandhi Jayanti-- October 2, 2018. I was also informed that some 60,000 bio-toilets would be constructed throughout the state under ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’. I would also like to appeal to the people of Goa to extend their support and contribute to this important mission in order to maintain the cleanliness and beauty of our State. Also children need to be educated and enlightened about the value of cleanliness so that they can carry forward this message for the benefit of the family and the society. She also pointed out that cleanliness does not confine only to maintaining the places clean but it should also mean positive thinking, purity of mind, purity of body and purity of intellect, as the essential aspects of life. It is my earnest desire to see Goa as number one State in our country as a cleanest State which can be fulfilled only with efforts of Goan people.
14. Taking the Swachh Bharat Mission a step ahead, the Government enforced plastic ban in some Municipalities to make the State garbage free. People were requested to involve citizens who can make paper bags from old newspapers and supply them. Municipalities’ have to play a major role in encouraging people in using paper bags over plastic. Efforts are to be made to phase out plastic carry bags slowly, but surely, by introducing paper and cloth bags. A number of businesses have switched over to paper and cloth bags in the city. Taking a cue from municipalities in the state that imposed a ban on the use of plastic bags this year, panchayats will soon follow suit.
15. I launched a programme “गाँव और हम” under which I will visit at least two villages every month and interact with the villagers and beneficiaries of various Central and State Government run schemes and review it. I had the privilege of having a interaction session with the villagers of Neura of Tiswadi Taluka on 30th October 2018 at the Village Panchayat Neura hall. Under the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan, Goa University has adopted 5 villages namely, Nauxi-Pirabhat Village (Tiswadi Taluka); Carca Village (Tiswadi Taluka); Pale – Sirdao (Tiswadi Taluka); Gudi Paroda Village (Salcet Taluka) and Madkai Village (Ponda Taluka). It is commendable that a total no. of 87 Goa University students visited these villages and competed at night.
16. Dalai Lama has very wisely said: ‘Harmony among our different religious traditions is essential for world peace.’ It is unquestionably true that without harmony, there can be no peace; and without peace there can be no progress. Religious harmony is of prime importance. People of different religious faiths coexist in pluralistic society; if any clash of ideas occurs, this may lead to serious disharmony which can hamper the progress of a society, and country. Though Goan society had to face communal upheaval in the wake of the Portuguese colonial policies, but today Goa enjoys peace despite communal diversity. Religion and religious festivals, in particular, are an important means of reinforcing existing communal bonds in a community and also reaching out to other communities. This demonstrates that strong religious identities and communal harmony can co-exist. I feel Goa is truly blessed to have peace in diversity and urge each and everyone to keep up the spirit of unity and maintain the peace and order in the State.
17. I would like to once again extend my hearty wishes to the people of Goa, on the occasion of Goa Liberation Day.