Ex-student leaders form Front

| 13 August 2001 23:44 IST

Former student leaders and activists of '70s and '80s have come together to form a non-political state-level body - the Goa People's Front.

Adv Satish Sonak, an erstwhile student leader who led a victorious 50 per cent bus fare agitation in 1978, has been elected the convenor of the GPF.

The meeting held in Margao on Sunday also resolved unanimously to render all kind of possible help to rebuild a student movement in the state.

The meeting, chaired by another former student leader Adv Avinash Bhosle, started by paying tributes to late Bhausaheb Bandodkar, Goa's first chief minister, on the occasion of his death anniversary.

This was a third meeting, followed by meetings in Panaji and Ponda, which decided to bring together all those activists who had fought relentlessly to seek justice and taken up public issues two decades ago, emerging as a strong opposition in the state.

In fact the whole process had started with sad demise of one of their collleagues Cyril Pacheco. They came together for a codolence meeting and decided to pay him a real tribute by getting themselves organised once again.

The GPF however has planned not to keep the forum limited to the former student activists but rope in all democratic-minded citizens into it, making it a broad-based front spread in all the villages and cities of Goa.

While speaking after he was unanimously elected the convenor of the GPF, Adv Sonak appealed to those who present on the occasion to work selflessly by doing what is right and opposing what is wrong, keeping prosperous future of Goa at large in mind.

"It should not be a mere fighting force where there is injustice but also a front to contribute in constructive manner by using our expertise in the field and social senstivity we have in our hearts", he said.

The meeting was attended by almost 40 persons including doctors, lawyers, engineers, other professionals, writers, journalists, teachers, businessmen, trade unionists and social activists.

Keeping aside their political affiliations, the meeting decided that the GPF should try and bring responsible citizens together to provide justice to the people and valuable contribution towards the Goan society.

The meeting was also addressed by Murari Bandekar and Vachan Korgaonkar, the invitees and leaders of the Mapusa Students' Action Committee. Both of them appealed to those who were present at the meeting to guide them in building an independent student movement in the state, which will have no political connections.

Adv Sonak, while speaking later, made it clear that the student movement should be built independently on their own and the GPF activists will only guide them at crucial moments but will not participate actively in it.

A directory of former student activists was also released at the hands of Mohandas Lolayekar. In order to update the directory further, the GPF has appealed to former activists to contact Dr Sushrut Martins with details.

Prashant Naik welcomed the gathering. The meeting was also addressed by several others during three-hour long deliberations.

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