Monday, June 7, 2010

ex-gratia paid to retired seamen hiked

Ex-gratia paid to retired seamen hiked


Taking up cudgels for the retired Goan seamen, Chief Minister Digambar Kamat and South Goa MP Francisco Sardinha spoke to the general secretary of National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) Abdulgani Serang over the Rs 200 ex-gratia relief paid to the retired seafarers and widows.
The Chief Minister spoke to the NUSI general secretary after a delegation of the retired seafarers Associated led by President Ifron Dias, Agostinho Fernandes and Peter Crasto met the former over the ex-gratia relief.
Kamat told Herald that Abdulgain has said that NUSI has mooted a proposal to enhance the ex-gratia relief from Rs 200 to Rs 400 per month.
“When I spoke to Abdulgani, he said that NUSI does not pay the relief, but a trust which is being managed independently”, Kamat said, adding that NUSI has proposed to now increase the relief to Rs 400 per month.
On the other hand, South Goa MP Francisco Sardinha is believed to have questioned the NUSI general secretary over the pittance paid to the retired seafarers and widows.
The MP questioned Abdulgani whether the ex-gratia relief of Rs 200 is adequate to even meet the basic needs of a human being.
Sardinha is believed to have reminded the NUSI general secretary that even the Goa government is paying Rs 1000 monthly dole for senior citizens and point blank telephonically told Abdulgani that the monthly ex-gratia relief of Rs 200 paid to the retired seafarers is totally unjustified and unacceptable.
Incidentally, seafarers have recalled the assurances given by the NUSI general secretary to seamen way back in 2007 at a meting held at NUSI Maritime Academy to enhance the ex-gratia relief to the retired seafarers and widows.
In fact, seafarers in the know said the NUSI bulletin has been handing out assurances in recent times to enhance the ex-gratia relief, but in vain.
The retired seafarers had been asked for a hike in the ex-gratia relief of more than Rs 1000 given the economic plight of the seamen and widows.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Synopsis 'Tarvotteanchim bondolam'

Synopsis 'Tarvotteanchim bondolam'

‘Tarvotteanchim bondolam’ off late has taken so much space on the Goan Netter’s forum, I could not hold on with my views to eternity.

‘Tarvotteanchim bondolam’ to my knowledge was something like ‘a joke’ or may be even ‘Konkani Vopar’. I remember one more catch phrase ‘Padri-cho sermao unneak nohi’ (Priest sermon not meant for Sister-in-law)
I wander if the priest’s have ever taken it as an offence? But they are men of God. Aren’t they?

My father was a tarvotti, but not ‘bondolkar’. He worked hard first to get his three younger sisters married and then he got married late by 10-15 years. The salary that he earned was just enough to make the family ends meet. He was on the ship for 9-11 months and then lay-off for next 5-6 months.

He was not a ‘bondolkar’ but he did shed some light on the ‘Tarvotteanchim bondolam’ of his days, years after his retirement as I was old enough to understand his tarvotti life. If a honest tarvotti had to narrate their European, American or Japanese voyage experience to fellow Goan they used to poke fun ‘Tarvotteanchim bondolam’ as it was too good to hear. Back then (50s – 70s eras) the Goans were not exposed to the Print and Television Media as they are today. I wonder what would have been the Goan folk’s reaction if Tarvotti had to talk about Internet being used in West. If Present day tarvotti talks about his life experience people do believe him as we are not living in ‘Timbuktu’.

We do hear some ‘Tarvotteanchim bondolam’ in regards to work situation such as ‘kitchen helper’ trying to project as a ‘cook’. I guess these are harmless ‘bondolam’ because our society gives importance to position rather than the work you do. We, as a part of the society have encouraged these bondolam by refusing to give dignity to low paid work.

Now, we as a part of society have to be the catalyst to change the way we look at work and the worker. Longer we take to acknowledge ‘dignity’ in cleaning the toilet is as good as being an office manager or Chief Cook on the ship; we will continue to have these bondlolam and off-course migration. Our refusal to give dignity to work is one reason why our fertile agriculture land is now turning into a waste land, because no one likes being called a ‘Xetkamti’.

The ills of Goa are not because of the Tarvotti or Gulf-ies as some try to project on this forum. We all have a right to express our viewpoint, not to condemn. We, as a Goan civil society are collectively responsible for good or bad of the current situation in Goa. Is it Tarvotti or Gulf-ie who elect the people to come in power? Is it Tarvotti or Gulf-ie who sell’s the ancestral land to the highest price to the builder? Is Tarvotti or Gulf-ie who buys fish paying extra few rupees is bigger problem than Hotel’s in Goa feeding millions of tourist coming to Goa? Are food shortages or price rise because of Tarvottis or Gulfies as they only booze and hog when they come down to Goa? Who is ready to sell anything and everything (Check the costal belt) including our sons and daughters to anyone and everyone but a Goan or for that matter Tarvotti or Gulf-ie? Who are okay to share our houses with an unknown person for he/she pays good money but not own brother or sister and parents (we have new invention ‘home for the aged’).

I am neither a writer nor a thinker, or a teacher, or an orator and definitely not a politician. I am humble son of a tarvotti, now a gulf-ie, who for a living, work for the tarvotties has equal measure of respect and concern for a Captain or an AB (able bodied person). But above all, I am a Proud Goykar who seeks salvation not condemnation of Goykar, irrespective of his profession, caste or creed.

Many hands make work lighter; so let us join together as a Tarvotti, Gulf-ie and *NRG does not matter if you are a Goan from Goa or Bombay, Kenya or Tanzania, Canada or Australia and USA or Africa.

Utt Goykara!Viva Goa!

Agnelo Pinheiro

[Agnelo Pinheiro hails from Raia, Salcette, Goa
and presently works in Dubai, U.A.E. and can be
contacted by email at gift.pinheiro at]

*NRG = Non-Resident Goan.

- as forwarded to on 4th June 2010.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

Succour to seamen

Succour to seamen

All our seamen brothers, who retired between the 1960s and the 80s receive a pittance of Rs200 per month from the so called ‘Seamen Welfare fund Society’. This is sent in a lumpsum for six months a time, and even this is irregular. The word ‘pension’ has remained alien to the Seamen Union of Mumbai and Kolkata and perhaps to the seamen all these years.
Seamen in Goa and in Mumbai have held meetings to highlight their demand of Rs5000 per month as pension. These men served in Iran, Iraq and Vietnam and the Falklands, with no insurance cover and did their duties without any benefits even in merchant navy ships plying in war zones.
The Chief Minister, other ministers and citizens should come to their rescue. Even after 65 years of independence, the seamen have still to struggle.

Bonnie Rodrigues, Majorda

As published in

Sunday, October 25, 2009