When the earlier BJP government assumed office on 9th March 2012, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had rightly pointed out that Goa’s exploding population needs to be frozen. “Unrestricted migration and whole-scale transfer of land is beginning to submerge the unique Goan identity” is what Manohar Parrikar had exactly said. He had further stated that “The apprehension is that Goans will become an alienated microscopic minority within their own State”
But the government over the last six years has done nothing to remedy the situation except that empty talk on Special Status for Goa. Migrants have being flowing in by the droves. Infact the government has been drafting in individuals and posting them in high positions despite there being no dearth of qualified Goans available. The role of the Goa NRI Commission should have been to act as a catalyst in drawing avenues and opportunities to encourage Goans currently out of Goa to return back and help preserve their soil.
The Non-resident Goans and more importantly, the youth want to see changes with employment opportunities here. They would prefer to return and make Goa their home. Goans abroad have invested in Goa whether it is money deposited in Goan banks, holiday homes or in business ventures. However, the overseas Goans are not always totally satisfied with what they see in Goa. They are repelled by the culture of corruption that has become a part of the new Goan society and just cannot relate to the acceptance of these standards.
Many NRIs after years of service abroad long to settle in the land of their origin. But at times for many reasons they get disheartened and give up. For someone who has never witnessed water supply shortages or power failures it is a nightmare coping with the erratic water and power supply and potholed roads which has been a matter of routine in Goa. NRIs also feel that the prospects of good education in Goa for their children is bleak and this is something the Government should focus on. Good hospitals and quality professional educational institutions is something Goa so dearly needs.
Overall, if Goa’s infrastructure is improved it will motivate many NRIs to come back and set up shop in the place that is so dear to them. But politicians have their fingers in every pie, and nothing runs professionally or free from political interference. Over the years a lot of Goan politicians have made official trips overseas ostensibly as study projects abroad. It was expected that they would bring home some ideas to improve things here. Unfortunately, for them those jaunts at taxpayer expense have in reality been shopping and sightseeing junkets.
Many Goans feel the urge to play a role in shaping the future of Goa but the authorities would have to play their role to encourage NRIs to return and invest their skills and savings in the land of their roots. So a sincere battle by the government against the current rampant corruption, nepotism and bad Governance could be the starting point in bringing Goa closer to every NRI Goan.