By Dr Oscar Rebelo
21 August 2019 18:13 IST

First a disclaimer, I used all my contacts, got a couple of paid tankers and am stuffed to the gills, during this water drought of Panaji.

I've had my daily baths and am smelling good.

But the sheer terror and absolute horror of running out of the most precious resource on the planet for a week now and counting, is a nightmare I can bet will visit us again & again.

And the prime reason for this catastrophe to strike us is this.


We are in constant outrage mode, perpetually angry and hypertensive about issues like caste and triple talaq, Ram mandir or 370, Portuguese inquisition or allowing bikinis on the beach.

These are our primal issues.

We are simply not prepared to CONSISTENTLY (AND THE OPERATIVE WORD IS CONSISTENTLY) be outraged over basic civic issues denied to us day in & day out.

What does your pad at a gated community or a pinacolada on the beach matter if you can't access water... bloody water… for God's sake?

True, we have had some champion councillors and good Samaritans who have been in the forefront to mitigate the sufferings of affected communities. But are we to be satisfied only by romanticising these heroes???

When are we going to ask those tough, consistent questions of our political class and importantly fattened bureaucrats, living off tax payer money??

Or is that a job to be outsourced to a poor Valmiki Naik or a Girish Chodankar while we just grunt, groan and moan in our safe private spaces??

We Goans, always knew we were a dying race but this is a new exciting way to go.

Dying of thirst sitting by the banks of the dying Mondovi, gazing emptily at the dazzling lights of the Atal Setu and those ghastly casinos and gasping that final Goan dirge.


Disclaimer: Views expressed above are the author's own.

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Dr Oscar Rebelo

Dr Oscar Rebelo is one of the leading social activist of Goa and a practicing doctor. He led the historic peoples’ movement in 2006-07 to get the anti-Goa Regional Plan scrapped and save Goa from total destruction of Goa’s ecology and natural beauty. He is a Goa-based leader of Aam Aadmi Party. He is also a columnist.

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Further to the article by Dr Oscar Rebello dated 21 August 2019 in Goa News courtesy of Goan Voice UK. “WE ARE A STUPID, DIM WITTED PEOPLE NEVER PREPARED TO ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS

I beg to differ with Dr Oscar Rebello, Goa Based Leader of Aam Aadmi Party, with the symbol of a broom used for voting.

Mother Nature’s annual wash of Goa with the recent monsoons brought rainwater everywhere including Panjim but not a drop in the Taps to drink.

I agree with Pantaleao Fernandes writing in Goa Today August 2019 issue where he highlights in recent times, on trips through Goan Villages, one notices that some people have literally poisoned their own wells. The wells that quenched the thirst of their forefathers lie forlorn, neglected, uncared, unloved and sometimes hated – filled with all types of trash! Toilet soak pits are built in the vicinity of the well with least regard to the health advisory, thereby contaminating the water.

The water authorities in London district United Kingdom , with a population of 8,136 million in 2011 to ensure that there is enough water for all built a ring main tunnel around London big enough to drive a London Black Taxi. However, water is carefully managed as during periods of water shortage there is a hose pipe ban to water gardens.

Water, the source of all life itself, if you agree, is precious. Dr Rebello states that the prime reason for the recent water problem in Panjim and surrounding areas is that “WE ARE A STUPID, DIM WITTED PEOPLE NEVER PREPARED TO ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS”.

Stupid? From observation of over 60 years, the energy of the enterprising Goan knows no bounds where there is money to be made in lining their own pockets. First comes the example of our people residing in Goa who have worked tirelessly to get Portuguese citizenship and then make their journey to Breadline Britain with complete family groups to etch a living, having left spacious homes to renting and sharing houses of multiple and shared occupancy. I would not have thought this was a very easy decision for them to make or a very easy task to follow this decision through. Good governance attracts people hoping to get a better life anywhere in the world.

The result of this is the number of our young people from Goa in the UK has markedly risen over the last few years and Konkani which was never commonly heard before can be heard frequently in buses, shops, etc. It therefore is very clear to me that these new arrivals did not feel inclined to use their energy and enterprise to better the country they lived in and chose to wander off to what they believe to be greener pastures. It is sad to see educated people who would have greatly contributed to Goa development doing jobs far below their education like working in factories, menial jobs in hospitals, at airports, etc. Could their expertise be better spent to improve their living conditions in Goa? What made them leave?

Living in Breadline Britain has encouraged the development of multiple streams of income one of which is where fellow gullible Goans in the name of Charity are asked to donate money to fund coffins by Goans with Water Melon Smiles (GWS) their details can be found embodied as a registered in UK charity no 280542 and in the website of the Goauk.com. Membership is GBP£1.00 for life, with the chanting of thousands of Goans arriving in the United Kingdom this firm has around 100 unverified registered members.

To Qualify for the airfreight burial scheme you need a Potuguese Passport and claim to have no money so that your body can be flown to Goa for Burial @ GBP2,000.00 for a one bed coffin. At the last count two years ago we are informed there was over GBP two hundred thousand enough for 200 coffins yet the unaccountable fund raising still goes on with multiple streams of income such as sobbing letters for donations, dances, raffle tickets, party hats etc. Living in a welfare state I do not see any welfare work or Charity in these people other than generate revenue for the unelected office bearers an off shoot of the now dysfunctional G.O.A. UK Limited which I have observed throwing out its constitution and terms of reference. All financial losses posted are some Goan’s gain guess who is basking in the revenue from Insurance paid out when our clubhouse burnt down and over the last few years rental from flat purchased.

On the bright side it appears that there has been a pause in people dying as there has been no appeals for burial money in the last few months which is good news for the UK economy as the much needed tax revenue is generated by these Portuguese slave workers of Goan origin.

Then comes the hundreds that have floated out on board cruise ships employed mainly in the hospitality sector, I can only assume that cruise ship recruitment companies find our Goykars to be of a standard befitting high standards on a cruise ship.

However, I am still of the belief that the cream of Goa is in Goa itself, unfortunately from what I can see, a large majority are using their energy and enterprise to avail of the domestic and international tourist trade to fill their pockets with lucrative amount of rupees to fatten their bank accounts. This, in my opinion, is leaving them little time to spend on projects to improve their environment or be bothered about their surroundings? Who is voting in these politicians? Who can improve the quality of life in this case the basic human right of water, electricity and shelter? It is of note that on the brighter side the much loved and abused Ration card ensures no one is starving in Goa hence attracting migrants to a better life in the former Portuguese Goa from the former British India.

Another observation is that patriotic Goans originally from East Africa who had renovated family homes or purchased houses and flats in Goa to spend the cold winters of Europe back home have now started a recent trend of “selling up”, deciding not to bother even visiting anymore. The main reason is that the quality of their vacation has deteriorated to such an extent that their hard earned money spent in coming to Goa can be better spent elsewhere in the whole wide world. Declining international tourism in Goa is far from being addressed and time will tell if any improvement in international high end tourism continues. Especially when you have to empty your wallet of all Indian Rupees at departure points to extortionate Foreign exchange rates leaving you with none to come back with.

To conclude we might be seen by Dr Rebello as a stupid dim witted people never prepared to ask the right questions but from my observations, this stupidity is short lived when it comes to improving our lives and bank balances. At this point we turn into a very clever race, never hesitating to pack up our bags and flow with the wind or water to what we see as greener pasture lands or blue seas! The loyalty to mother Goa does not become a consideration. Yesterday I saw the Disney film “Lion King” when a monkey asked the lion, “I know who I am, but do you know who you are?”

Your views on the above are welcomed.

Melvyn Fernandes

Thornton Heath Surrey

25 August 2019

[email protected]

- Melvyn Fernandes, London, United Kingdom | 25 th August 2019 16:34



Delhi People Are Getting:

Free Health Care, Free Water, Free Electricity, Free Education, Free Wi-Fi, Free Transport For Women, CCTVs Security, Free Treatment in nearby private hospital, who met with an accident, Old Age Home with Aam Aadmi Clinic, Free Training Center for unemployed Youth, Electricity Company Pays Fine to their Consumers for keeping them without Electricity, etc.

- Jack De Goan, Goa | 22 nd August 2019 20:52


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