When the BJP government assumed office on 9th March 2012 the then Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had rightly pointed out that Goa’s exploding migrant population needs to be frozen. But he did nothing towards achieving that end, except for the empty talk on Special status for Goa. Infact the government has been drafting in more ‘migrants’ and even 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 serve their soil.
There remains a disturbing perception of the ideal Goa as seen by the average Non Resident Goan (NRG) who would have liked it to remain unchanged. The Non resident Goans and more importantly, the youth want to see changes with employment opportunities. They would prefer to make their home in Goa.
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.
The bureaucratic processes endemic in Indian methodology puts off many Non Residents from investing locally. Over the years International Goan Conventions have been held to deliberate on issues concerning Goa and related to Non Residents. There had been a unanimous demand for the Government of Goa to set up an NRG centre as a focal point to redress problems of NRGs and to see what role they could play in the progress and development of Goa. In response to this demand the Government of Goa set up a “NRG Commission”. We have yet to see anything concrete achieved by this outfit, which started in February 2006 with ambitious plans.
Many NRGs after years of service abroad long to settle in the land of their origin. But 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 which has been a matter of routine in this State of Goa. NRGs also feel that the prospects of a good education in Goa for their children is bleak and this is something the Government should focus on. Good public hospitals and quality professional educational institutions is something Goa so dearly needs.
Overall, if Goa’s basic infrastructure is improved it will motivate many NRGs 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.
In recent years a lot of Goan politicians have made overseas trips, ostensibly as study projects abroad. It was expected that they would bring home some ideas to improve things here. Unfortunately, these trips at taxpayer expense have in reality been shopping and sightseeing junkets for our politicians.
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 NRGs to return and invest their skills and savings in the land of their roots. The very high level of corruption in Goa is something that every NRI detests. So a war on corruption by the Government of Goa could be the starting point in bringing Goa closer to every Non Resident Goan.