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Global Goans Convention, Arab Times, 28th Nov 2010

Convention focuses on NRI Goans and its identity

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 28: Prominent Goan personalities from the four corners of the globe converged in Kuwait for the 5th Global Goans Convention. The two-day convention was celebrated at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Kuwait on Nov 16 & 17.

Tha annual Goan Convention is organized to focus, interact and exchange ideas with various delegates on the subject of perservation of Goan identity and other matters beneficial to Goans. The theme of this year's Global Goans Convention was NRI Goan. Dignitaries who flew from Goa included Sanjay K. Srivastava, IAS Cheif Secretary of Goa Govt, Ulhas D. Kamat- DIrector of NRO Affairs of Goa Goverment, Luizinho Faleiro-Ex Chief Minister of Goa & COngress Working Committee Executive Member, N. SHivdas- President of Goa Konkani Akademi, Vincy Quadros- Vice President of Goa Konkani Akademi, Prof M.S.Kamat - Educationist, Prof M.K. Shaikh - Educationist and Adv. Pronoy Kamat.

The Global Goans Convention was organized by Goan Cultural Center (GCC) in association with the Indian Embassy under the patronage of HE Ajai Malhotra, Ambassador of India to Kuwait. Gaspar Almeida, the Chief Convention Adviser commenced the proceedings with a Call to Order, and conveyed Eid greetings to all. He expressed his happiness that the Goa Goverment is giving the due importance to the NRI Goans. This was followed by the inaugural ceremony of the traditional lighting the ceremonial lamp at the hands of the guest of honour, HE Ajai Malhotra,

Sanjay K Srivastava, Luixinho Faleiro, Ulhas D. Kamat and Carmo Santos, Chairman of the Goan Cultural Center on the dias. The national anthems of Kuwait and India were played while two screens displayed beautiful landmarks of Kuwait and Goa. A colorful souvenir was released to mark the 5th GLobal Goans Convention 2010.

Sunny J. Nazareth, the Convention Master of Ceremony intoduced the delegation and speakers. In his welcome address Carmo Santos highlighted the significance of the convention would project fundamental principles of prudence that would enhance the dignity of the Goan Diaspora.

In his address, HE Ajai Malhotra lauded the efforts of the Goan Cultural Center in organizing such an important Convention and focussed on the community's vibrancy and stated "There is a solid Goan presence and contribution to be found in Kuwait, which is a home away from home foe nearly 50,000 Goans. In fact, Goans are present in almost al professionals in Kuwait - from bankers to drivers, from household workers to doctors, from businessmen to journalists. The Goans residing in Kuwait are widely acknowledged as being sincere, hard-working, talented, disciplined and law-abiding. A good number of dynamic Goan associations are also active in Kuwait. I have been privileged to attend many events oraganised by them and can confirm that the Goans in Kuwait are indeed energetically nuturing their culture and traditions, including through music, dance, tiatre, and football, while extending humanitarian support to the needy in India and Kuwait.

Sanjay Srivastava extended full support of Goa Governement to the Goan diaspora. Luizinho Faleiro was full of praise for the Goans and hoped that the convention would serve as a spring board to achieve success envisioned by the Goan diaspora. He emphasized on the need to have the technical edge to be brought back to Goa with you. "We do not need your finance, the Goa Government will lend you all the support and cooperation, we need your proficiency and skills," he emphasized. Ulhas D. Kamat, Director of NRI Affairs (Goa) highlighted at length about the various schemes that have been established by the Goa Government for the benefit of NRI Goans.

Dignitaries who addressed and highlighted various issue pertaining to the Goans included Bruno Gomes (Swizerland), Simon D'Silva (Qatar), Oscar Lobo (Australia), Vivek Araujo (Africa), John De Sa(Qatar), Bnedict Lobo (UAE), Daryl Mascarenhas (Mumbai), Peter D'Silva (UK), Francis Correa (Bahrain), Pronoy Kamat (Goa), Isidore Dantas (Pune), Ms Sheila Santos (Kuwait), Aldrin Meneses (Kuwait), R. S. Naique (Goa), Prof M S Kamat (Goa), Prof M S Shaikh (Goa), Vincy Quadros (Goa), T Bush (Kuwait), Lino B Dourado (Kuwait), Hormuzda Davar (Al- Mulla Group, Kwt), Gasper Crasto, Raymond Pereira (Kuwait).

A film show reel compromising of T-Bush Film Productions of English, Konkani and Hindi films shot in Kuwait by Director T-Bush, a product of Panjim's College of Arts received appreciation as well as support from the visiting dignitaries to showcase these films in Goa. Suresh Naik, President of Goan Cultural Center extended his sincere gratitude of HE Ajai Malhotra, HE Eduardo Faleiro - commissioner for NRI Affairs, Government of Goa, S.K. Srivastava, Ulhas Kamat and all dignitaries from Goa and also to all the delegates gracing the Convention.

Various topics pertaining to the NRI Goans were focused upon including subjects of current concernsto the Goans back home too including Migration, Career prospects and job opportunities, panchayat raj, investement in IT and education, NRI rights and obligations, Goan unit, Prevention of land sale and loss of identity, Konkani language and progress, medical facilities in the new millenium, a peep into tiatr and the Konkani state, foreign remittances, upliftment of educational facilites, Goan youth and business prospects as well what's good about being a goan. A praise worthy feature of the Global Goans Convention 2010 was the presentation of the Education of Educational Scholarship Awards with cash prizes, medals & certificates to outstanding Goan student in Kuwait who excelled in STD X & STD XII, CBSE Board Examination for 2009-2010, sponsored by Gulf Mart. The students were Carrie Ann Pinto (Indian Community School), Cherylann P. Rodrigues (Indian Community School), Dwane John Almedia (Jabriya Indian School), Eleanore E. Dias (Carmel School), Leory E. Botelho (Indian Community School) and Natasha C. Fernandes (Gulf Indian School).

Messages from Dr. S S Sidhu, the Governer of Goa, Digambar Kamat, Chief Minister of Goa, Eduardo Faleiro, HE Ajai Malhotra, Luizinho Faleiro, Manohar Parrikar, Leader of Opposition, Government Goa, Bishop Camillo Ballin, Vicar Apostolic of Kuwait, adorned the Convention Souvenir.

The Vice-President of the Goan Cultural Center, Martino Afonso expressed his gratefulness to each and everyone who contributed directly or indirectly to the success of the Global Goan Convention 2010. "We are profoundly satisfied with the overwhelming response and cooperation extended by the Goan community in Kuwait, the press and Internet media and by the government of Goa," Martino Afonsa elaborated. The Goan Cultural Centre express their grateful thanks to GulfMart, Gulf Cable & Electrical Industries Company, Mushrif Trading & Contracting Co, Mughal Mahal, Otis Elevators Co, Al Ghannam Tires Center Co, Lulu Hypermarket, Al Mulla Exchange Co, Sadia (The joy of Good Food), Kamat Construction Pvt Ltd (Goa), Casa Severina Retreat (Calangute, Goa), Taal Restaurent, Indian Bangladeshi Translation & Typingco, Sarina's Saloon, English Optics, Oriential Group of Restaurents, The New India Assurance Co, Ltd, Expat-Group (Dubai) and Bayan National Trading Co for their distinguished support towards the Convention.

The evening on Day 2 of the Convention witnessed the presentation a dazzling cutural programme with Goan and Mangalorean artistes. HE Ajai Malhotra, specially graced the programme by his dignified presence, along with Remesh T A, Country Manager of Gulf Mart, and Delegates. The fabulous event suoerbly organized by Kuwait's incomparable music maestro Soccoro De Melo in coordination with various folklore troupes, popular Konkani stage artistes, singers, children's group and professionals musicians.

S K Srivastava presented a beautiful memento to Carmo Santos, on behalf of Commissioner for NRI Affairs (Goa), which he dedicated to all Goan residents in Kuwait to a thunderous ovation. A very special memento was presented to HE Ajai Malhotra on behalf of Goan Culture Centre. Upbeat to the occastion, Kuwait-based Konkani poets recited two of his compositions which were well received. Ms Anjali Amonkar, Gasper Crasto and Sunny Nazareth were in commendable control of airwaves and delighteding. Konkani and English books, namely Isidore Dantas', 'Konkan Cholchitram', Selma Carvalho's 'Into the Diaspora Wilderness', Vincy Quadros' 'Fulam' and Global Goans UAE magazine 'Goan Revie' were released on the occasion. The attendees were treated to a sumptuous lunch and mouth watering delicacies of Crowne Plaza Hotel. The organizers and the delegates will ensure that the Convention proceedings are followed-up with thee concerned Government entities in Goa as desire of the Convention attendees. The question and answer sessions were focused on the betterment of the NRI Goans and the folks back home in Goa.