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

Friday, October 16, 2009

NUSI Maritime Academy, Goa

Courses at NUSI Maritime Academy, Goa
At present, NUSI Maritime Academy, Goa conducts the following courses as per Directorate General Shipping guidelines:
A)Pre sea training courses for Ratings (General Purpose)
B) Pre sea training course for Ratings (Certificate Course in Maritime Catering)
In addition to this, the following STCW courses are also conducted: -
1) FPFF (Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting)
2) PST (Personal Survival Techniques)
3) PSSR (Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities)
4) EFA (Elementary First Aid)
5) PSF (Passenger Ship Familiarization)
Facilities Offered at NUSI Maritime Academy, GoaThe Training facilities include:

The davits house the boats. The boats are lowered and hoisted up by means of an electrically operated winch. The trainees are trained in lowering and hoisting the boat, boat handling, rowing and sailing.

This shed has necessarily been located on the water front. The boat-shed is utilised to train students to haul the boats up on the ramp. Training in maintenance and repairs and other related work is carried out by the trainees in the boat-shed.
The mezzanine floor is used to store equipment and aids to facilitate such training.
The boat-shed has a floor area of 255.60 sq. mts. with additional 127.80 sq. mts. on the mezzanine floor.

NUSI Maritime Academy, Goa has a 25 metre swimming pool with filteration plant, six lanes.
The swimming pool is also used for practical training in personal survival techniques and proficiency in survival craft.
Each trainee passing out of the Academy achieves a minimum standard of proficiency in swimming at least two lengths of a standard swimming pool. Certificates are not issued until the trainee passes the swimming test.

There are mock-ups for imparting practical training in fire-fighting.
These mock-ups are a per IMO specification and approved by the Director General of shipping.

A Computer aided state of art steering simulator is installed in the scholastic block, which is used for practical training in steering a ship in and out of harbours under coning orders.

An In-house team conducts computer training for the trainees. All trainees passing out of the Academy are computer literate.

A separate training galley of 182 sq. metres area has been constructed to conduct practical training in cookery. This galley will have four separate work tables where practical training can be simultaneously provided to 40 trainees at a time.

The Academy has a spacious library for reading and internet purposes.
The library of the Academy has maritime technical literature as also books on social, labour and political subjects for study and reference purposes.
The library is quite spacious with large issue area with a counter. Sufficient toilets have been provided for the library users.The total floor area is 494 sq. mts.

NUSI Maritime Academy, Goa has sufficient open ground for sports activities for the trainees. Regular sports and games such as football, volleyball and cricket are carried on.


Boat Shed

Swimming Pool

Fire Fighting Mockup

Steering Simulator

Sports at NUSI

PHONE: (0832) 2773859 / 2774681 / 2773861
FAX: (0832) 2773665

Seafarers to knock NUSI/ITF Welfare Trust doors

Seafarers to knock NUSI/ITF Welfare Trust doors
Want monthly relief enhanced


Goan seafarers on Sunday resolved to knock the doors of the NUSI/ITF Welfare Trust to alleviate the sufferings of the needy and anguished seamen and have unanimously demanded enhancement of the monthly relief from Rs 200 to Rs 5000.

A large number of seamen who turned up for a public meting at Cuncolim this morning further resolved to unite under one banner and form an Association of Seafarers to pursue the interests of both retired and serving seafarers with the concerned authorities. Similar meetings are scheduled to be held in entire south Goa, before the seafarers meet at St Estevam in North Goa, which has a sizeable seafaring community.

Addressing the seafarers, Ivor D’Souza said the serving and retired seafarers certainly deserve a better deal in view of the agreement mandating foreign ship owners recruiting Indian seamen to contribute a certain amount for the welfare of seamen.

He recalled that a welfare Trust for the Indian seafarers under the banner of NUSI/ITF receives regular contributions from the foreign ship owners and demanded that the amount be used to pay pension to the retired seafarers. “Presently, the Seafarers Welfare Fund Society pays Rs 200 per month as ex-gratia monetary assistance. This amount is not even paid monthly. This amount is sometimes paid in six months or even more”, he said.

Former NUSI Assistant secretary, Urselino Almeida said the ex-gratia monthly payments made to the seamen can be enhanced substantially out of the funds managed by the NUSI/ITF Charitable Trust. “Instead of asking for pension, the seafarers should demand enhancement in the ex-gratia relief”, he added.

When newsmen later asked him whether he is hopeful that the seafarers would succeed in its demand for enhancement in the ex-gratia relief, Almeida said one of the objectives of the Trust is to create schemes for the welfare of the Indian seaman and their families. “The NUSI hospital was put up out of these funds, the Old age home at Lonavla and the NUSI Maritime Academy is run by the Trust”, he said, adding that the Seafarers Welfare Trust is having sufficient amount in its coffers that can be used to enhance the ex-gratia relief to Rs 5000 per month.

“The seafarers are not asking for something big. When the funds are there lying with the Trust, it should be used for the welfare of the seamen”, he added.
Seafarers pointed out that the main objective of the NUSI/ITF Welfare Trust was to provide and establish welfare schemes, amenities and services to the Indian seamen irrespective of caste, religion, region etc.

The memorandum will be submitted to the Chairman of the NUSI/ITF Welfare Trust, besides the three Goan MPs, Union Minister for shipping, Chief Minister of Goa, Chairperson of UPA, Prime Minister of India, NUSI/ITF for Indian seafarers, the National Maritime Board, CWC Member Luizinho Faleiro, Goan Ministers, Churchill Alemao, Filipe Neri Rodrigues and other MLAs.

Seafarers meet at Cuncolim

Seafarers meet at Cuncolim today


A week after they had an impressive meeting at Assolna, Seafarers have called for another meeting at Cuncolim near the Church on August 30 at 10.30 am to discuss and deliberate on the demand for pension and other benefits to the retired seamen.
The meeting convened by Arnoldo Fernandes, Agostinho Fernandes, Ifrone Dias and other seamen will finalise and seek approval from the seafarers community on the memorandum proposed to be submitted to the different authorities, including the Prime Minister of India.

The meeting will deliberate on other social benefits and medical benefits which the seafarers are entitled to for putting in years of work in the merchant Navy.
Retired seafarers are up in arms over the denial of pension benefits by the authorities and have to contend with a paltry ex-gratia relief of Rs 200 per month.

It has been the long standing demand of the seafaring community before the authorities to provide them the pension benefits. Retired seafarers have been particularly sore over the denial of pension since they have contributed to the progress of the country by earning precious foreign exchange over the years.
Retired seafarers and widows of seafarers had been knocking the doors of the National Union of Seafarers of India to either provide them pension or hike the existing ex-gratia relief substantially.

Two years back, NUSI general secretary Abdulgani Serang had promised the retired seafarers at the NUSI Maritime Academy that the Union would consider increasing the ex-gratia relief, but till date the retired seafarers and the widows continue to receive the monthly ex-gratia relief of Rs 200.

Seafarers’ meet at Quepem Church Ground - 3rd Sept. 2009

Seafarers’ meet


The All Goa Seafarers will hold its meeting on September 3 at the Quepem Church ground at 10.30 am to discuss the seafarers pension benefit and other pending difficulties. The meeting will be attended by the seafarers of Assolna, Velim and Cuncolim, besides former Assistant secretary of NUSI Urselino Almeida, Ivor D’Souza and others.
QUEPEM CORRESPONDENT adds: Seafarers of Quepem have convened a meeting near Holy Cross Church, Quepem, on September 3 at 10.30 am. The meeting has been convened to discuss issues of pension, medical benefits, etc.

Retired seafarers vow to fight for pension benefits

Retired seafarers vow to fight for pension benefits

MARGAO, AUG 23, 2009

Retired seafarers from Goa assembled at Assolna village on Sunday and have vowed to fight for pension benefits with the concerned authorities.
Scattered across the State, the retired seamen and the widows of seamen resolved to unite under one banner to take their battle for pension to the logical conclusion.
Though the retired seafarers and the widows receives monthly ex-gratia monetary assistance of Rs 200, aggrieved seafarers contended that they are also entitled for pension benefits denied to them all these years.
One of the convenors of today’s meeting, Papin D’Silva said what the retired seafarers receives from the NUSI Trust is only a monthly ex-gratia monetary assistance of Rs 200, adding that the retired seafarers need to be paid the pension.
“We have to fight for our right for the basic pension. The ex-gratia monetary assistance is different from pension. The retired and serving seafarers would form an association to bring all retired seafarers under one banner to fight for our rights”, he added.
Addressing the gathering, Ivor D’Souza underlined the need to form an association to unitedly fight for the rights of the retired seafarers.
“A beginning has been made today and this needs to be spread to the nook and corner of the State and then at the national level”, D’Souza added.
Former Assistant secretary of the National Union of Seafarers of India Urselino Almeida was invited by the convenors to address and guide the retired seafarers to achieve their goal.
Almeida told the retired seafarers that it may be difficult to get the pension from the government, but hastened to add that retired seafarers can be paid the pension out of the fund belonging to the seafarers.
The meeting resolved to write to the International Transport Workers Federation, Prime Minister, Finance Minister, besides the three Goan MPs Shripad Naik, Francisco Sardinha and Shantaram Naik in support of their long-pending demand.
Seafarers from Agonda, Paroda, Quepem, Majorda, Navelim, besides the seamen dominated villages of Assolna, Velim, Cuncolim and Chinchinim attended the meeting.
Incidentally, a meeting of seafarers had taken place at the NUSI Maritime Academy over two years ago, which was convened by PWD Minister, Churchill Alemao, wherein NUSI general secretary Abdulgani Serang had promised to consider increasing the existing monthly ex-gratia monetary assistance, but in vain.
Agitated seafarers has voiced their strong protest against the non-fulfillment of the promise to hike the ex-gratia relief, and bitterly complained that the relief is paid to the retired seamen once in six months.

Citizens demand voting rights for seafarers

Citizens demand voting rights for seafarers
Citizens demand voting rights for seafarers


Denial of voting rights to thousands of Goan seafarers and those working abroad dominated the hearing of the Goa Assembly Ad hoc Committee on Law and Election held in the district Collectorate building here on Saturday.
Also, the registration of migrants on the electoral roll in Goa and the large scale discrepancies in the EPIC cards also figured prominently at the hearing, prompting Chairman of the Committee MLA Francis D’Souza to ask the Electoral officers to take serious note of the irregularities.
Citizens demanded to know why seafarers are denied the voting right when they are Indian citizens and bring in foreign exchange to the country by their employment abroad. It was pointed out that when the seafarers come home with the rich foreign exchange, they find to their surprise their names missing from the electoral rolls.
Chief Electoral Officer Srivastava said this question was placed before the Election Commission for a solution, but citizens and even the Committee Chairman said it needed to be addressed with all seriousness.
D’Souza said the Committee would submit to the concerned department all suggestions made at the hearing to give seafarers right to vote. He said this sensitive question cannot be ignored and brushed aside and called for a solution to the problem. “The concern expressed by the people will be certainly reflected in the in the Ad hoc Committee report. This question is of great concern, where citizens of this country are not allowed to vote. I hope the government is seized of the matter and takes it up with the concerned authorities,” he added.
The question of names of migrants figuring in the electoral rolls also figured prominently at the hearing. Shiroda MLA Mahadev Naik sought to know how people from different religion and caste can be enrolled on the electoral from a single house and called for a probe in the matter.
Similar queries were raised by J J Mascarenhas, Melson Luis and others, which later prompted the Chief Electoral officer Srivastava to tell the people that the hearing is not a question-answer session and he cannot give the details on the spot.
Chairman of the Committee however, said the Election Commission should be careful while scrutinizing the documents and ensure they do not enroll their names at two places. “Utmost care should be taken where doubts are raised and when complaints are lodged against migrants. It is in the interest of Goa that special attention and care is paid to such matters,” he asserted.
On the question of delimitation of panchayat and municipal wards, D’Souza said the State Election Commission ought to be careful while delimiting the wards by taking into account the geographical boundaries
Taking into account the whole lot of queries on deletion of names from the electoral list, D’Souza sought to know from election officials why the concerned person is not intimated before his or her name is deleted by the authorities.

Kith and kin seek govt intervention

Kith and kin seek govt intervention

MARGAO, OCT 3, 2008 – Worried over the safety of the sailors onboard the hijacked ship Stolt Valor in Somalia, relatives and friends of the two Goan Sailors on Friday has demanded the immediate intervention of the Union government, the Director of Shipping and NUSI to secure the release of the seafarers.
Family members and friends of the two Goan sailors Alistair Fernandes (Cuncolim) and Isidore Fernandes (Raia) called on the NUSI office at Benaulim and requested the Union to step up efforts to secure the safe release of the seafarers.
Panicked over reports that the seafarers have fallen ill and the ship has run out of medicines, the family members demanded the immediate intervention of NUSI and the government to get the hijacked sailors released.
Led by Human Rights activist, Neves Anthony Rebello, a delegation comprising the relatives and friends will call on both the Rajya Sabha MP Shantaram Naik and South Goa MP Francisco Sardinha, besides PWD Minister, Churchill Alemao to ask the government to intervene in the crisis.
“Its 21 days since the ship was hijacked. There are two Goan sailors, besides 16 others from other parts of India. They are believed to have fallen sick and the ship has run out of medicines”, Rebello said, while called for urgent steps to get the hijacked sailors released.
It is learnt that NUSI officials contacted Alistair’s family on Friday evening and informed them about the protest planned in Mumbai on October 7.


Centre’s lackluster response to hijacked ship crew draws flak
Centre’s lackluster response to hijacked ship crew draws flak
NUSI demands safe passage of sailors
MARGAO, OCT 3 – Demanding to know what the Indian government has done to secure the release of the sailors, including two Goan sailors, hijacked by Somalian Pirates, the National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) has warned it would be forced to advise Indian seafarers to boycott and avoid serving on vessels which are trading in these pirate infested areas – a situation which will have far reaching effects on the Indian economy.
Sending a message loud and clear that Indian seafarers are very much agitated by the cold response of the government in securing the release of the hijacked sailors, NUSI has demanded that the Indian government ensure safe passage for Indian seafarers in Somalia.
NUSI Goa representative Xavier Rodrigues said NUSI and Maritime Union of India (MUI) under the banner of Indian Seafarers Federation (ISF) will take a peaceful march on October 7 at pm in Mumbai. To express solidarity with the families and relatives of the hijacked sailors, the whole industry, officers, petty officers, ratings, shore staff, medical doctors, ship-chandlers will participate in the peaceful march.
He said a similar march or meeting will be held in Goa too.
NUSI general Secretary Abdulgani Serang has said Indian Seafarers are very much agitated by the “cold response” attitude of the government, adding “we will not be sitting ducks for the pirates to hijack our ships.
Demanding to know the response of the Goa government in the matter, Serang has said it is sad that the Indian government has not given the confidence to the Indian seafarers who are trading in these pirate infested areas.
According to Serang, Seafarers have informed him that there are more than 25 pirates on board the hijacked ship StoltValor and there is acute shortage of food and water. Besides, the morale of the seafarers are down and they are threatened of bodily harm by the pirates, he added.

Indian seafarers warn of worldwide stir
Indian seafarers warn of worldwide stir
Demand release of hijacked ship crew by Oct 22
Now, Indian Seafarers have warned of a worldwide agitation if the crew members on board hijacked ship “Stolt Valor” is not released by October 22.
Two Goan sailors from Cuncolim and Raia are amongst the 18 Indians, two Philippinos, one Russiam and a Bangladeshi seafarer have been held hostage by pirates in Somalia since September 15.
While the pirates have recently released the ship held hostage since August 21, the Indian Seafarers Federation consisting of the National Union of Seafarers of India and the Maritime Union of India have warned of a worldwide agitation by Indian seafarers begin this week if the Indian government fails to secure the release of the hijacked ship.
Setting a deadline for the Indian government to secure the release of the ship by October 22, the Indian Seafarers Federation has further warned that Indian seafarers will refrain from trading in the pirate-infested areas of Somalia.
In a representation to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, the Federation has regretted that there has been no positive response from the Indian government despite the situation going from bad to worse.
The two Unions have demanded not just the release of the seafarers, but a safe passage for other Indian seafarers by providing escort ships by Indian Navy in the priate infested areas of Somalia.
The representation states that the Indian shipping fraternity and the international community are disturbed at the developments in Somalia.
So far, the Indian National Ship Owners Association, Maritime Association of Ship Owners, Ship manager and Agents, Foreign owners Ship Managers Association, besides NUSI and MUI have appealed to the government of Japan and the Japanese ship owners to resolve the issue amicably.
Recently, thousands of seafarers, family members of the hijacked seafarers and shipping company officials had participated in the peace March at Mumbai and in 12 Indian cities of Chennai, Diu, Goa, Kochi, Port Blair, Raigad, Tuticorin, Vishakapatnam, Nhava Valsad, Kolkatta and Lakshadweep to demand the release of the hijacked ship.


Churchill thanks Centre for release of Indian sailors
PWD Minister Churchill Alemao has thanked the Indian government for finally securing the release of the Indian sailors, including two Goan sailors onboard the hijacked ship Stolt Valor by Somali pirates.
Expressing happiness that the two Goan sailors, Allister Fernandes and Isidore Fernandes have finally returned home safe and unharmed, Alemao expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the External Affairs Minister.
The PWD Minister recalled that he had sought the intervention of the Prime Minister, placing before him the grievances, sufferings and agony of Goan families whose sons were onboard the hijacked ship.
Meanwhile, the National Union of Seafarers of India have appreciated all those seafarers, shipping companies, individuals, maritime administration who had taken part in raising the awareness and displaying solidarity during troubled times.
“The effort of the government of India needs to be appreciated for this positive outcome. The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) also deserves special appreciation”, said NUSI general secretary Abdulgani Y Serang.
Meanwhile, Serang said NUSI will now plan about the Hebei Spirit issue where Captain Jasprit Chawla and Chief Officer Syam Chetan have been detained in Korea for nearly a year. “The judgement of the Korean court will be delivered on December 10, 2008. The entire shipping fraternity is ready for action in support of the seafarers who were doing their duty at the highest professional level”, he added.

Another Goan under custody of Somali pirates
While the safe arrival of two Goan seamen who were abducted by Somali pirates may have brought joy to the two families, another Goan family continues to spend anxious moments hoping that their son is also released by Somali pirates.
Clive Fernandes (23) of Agonda along with seven other Indians and crew of other nationalities on board the Iranian ship MV Delight, carrying 38,000 tonnes of wheat from Hong Kong to Iran, when Somali pirates hijacked the vessel on November 18 off the Yemen coast near the Gulf of Aden.
When contacted, a source from National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) at Mumbai who reportedly helped and coordinated to secure the release of MT Stolt Valor tanker told Herald that the ship owners are already in touch with the hijackers.
According to family members, Clive had called up his parents only once on November 20, the day his recruiting agents from Mumbai first broke the news at his home. Since then, the family has been in the dark about his status, except for claims from the ship’s Indian crew recruiting company M/s Wilhelmsen Ship Management, that all on board are safe.
The anxious parents have pinned their hopes on God to take care of Clive’s safety and are eager to see him back. Incidentally, Clive was supposed to sign-off immediately once the ship docks at Iranian port and reach home in another two days time.
Clive’s father Vincent along with relatives and Agonda Sarpanch Jovi Fernandes on Tuesday met Commissioner for NRI and Overseas Affairs Eduardo Faleiro, who reportedly assured all help and is learnt to have established contacts at the national level.
However, on learning about the dispatch of about three naval ships in Somalian waters to fight the pirates, family members are worried that use of any force against the pirates could only endanger the lives of Clive and others.
According to sources, MV Delight is the 17th ship to be hijacked still under Somali pirates captivity as 16 other ships including a Saudi super tanker (Sirius star-owned by Aramco) carrying $100 million worth oil cargo are under the same pirates siege awaiting release after meeting ransom demands. The family has become more apprehensive after hearing the testimonies of both seamen from the hijacked Stolt Valor tanker on Monday.
“Clive’s mother has become weak and all she can do is cry and pray constantly,” informed a family source.
Clive’s father, a veteran seaman who is presently at home on vacation, says that he never experienced such situations in his entire shipping career.
“But I had heard of pirate-infested areas and along with other crew members used to be on guard while sailing through these certain areas,” he said.

NUSI interviews for merchant shipping

NUSI interviews for merchant shipping


MARGAO, JUNE 23, 2008 – Campus interviews were conducted for the trainees of NUSI Maritime Academy, Goa, by representatives form Varun Shipping Company. 20 candidates from General Purpose (GP) and 20 from CCMC (Saloon) have been selected by the shipping company to join their fleet immediately.
General Secretary of NUSI, Mr. Abdulgani Serang has invited the shipping companies to conduct campus interviews so as to provide the young aspiring seafarers the opportunity to secure jobs in merchant shipping as soon as they complete their training form the academy. According to the academy sources, this shall continue in the next batches also and more shipping companies are invited to conduct campus placements for the trainees.
This is a golden opportunity for young trainees to undergo training at the academy and also to get job placements in reputed shipping companies.

MLC conference & 5th Regional Wellfare Committee Meeting in Goa

MLC conference begins today

PANJIM, JUNE 22, 2008 – The International Labour Organisation (ILO) will organise the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) conference and the 5th Regional Welfare Committee (RWC) meeting in Goa from June 23 to 25.
Dr Suresh Idnani, Vice-President of the International Maritime Health Association (IMHA) and the regional co-ordinator South Asia stated that the stakeholders and delegates from India and Pakistan will participate in the convention.
“Speakers from the Maritime Section of International Labour Organization (ILO), International Transport Federation (ITF), International Christian Maritime organization (ICMA) and International Sailor Society will address the conference,” he said.
The ILO Consolidated Maritime Convention was held in February 2006, in Geneva, where the Bill of Rights for seafarers was adopted to include among other subjects, health, seafarers welfare, minimum age, recruitment, hours of work and other vital issues affecting a seafarers life, Dr Idnani said.
Capt Asitha Wijisesekera, Chairman of Regional Seafarers’ Welfare Committee said that the convention provides realistic solutions for achieving universal application and enforcement as it is a product of negotiations and consensus between seafarers, ship owners from over 80 countries.
“Convention has been designed to become a global instrument known as the ‘fourth pillar’ of the international regulatory regime for quality shipping and it is now that governments, ship owners and seafarers need to focus on their preparation for incoming changes,” he added.
This MLC Conference ’06 will take place at the International Centre, Dona Paula, followed by the 5th Regional Welfare Committee Meeting (RWC) at the Sun and Sand Resort Hotel in Panjim, on June 24 and 25.
The ICSW (International Committee for Seafarer’s Welfare) adopted a 4-year seafarer’s welfare development programme for South Asia addressing key issues including regional cooperation and networking, promotion and practical implementation of the ILO instruments of seafarer’s welfare, training of welfare workers, development and maintenance of facilities and services, raising awareness and advocacy, communication, health and fitness of seafarers’, welfare assistance for seafarer’s families, ship visiting and access to ships.
Each of the four countries attending the ICSW Regional Seminar 2005 for South Asia has formed a National Seafarer’s Welfare Board (NSWB)/ PWC comprising representatives of the unions, religious government, government ship owners and port authorities, and two representatives from each NSWB formed a Regional Welfare Committee (RWC) for this region.
Countries representing include Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The Regional Welfare Committee (RWC) has met four times so far and does oversee assess prioritised list of projects on communication, training, ship visiting and promotion and practical implementation of ILO on seafarer’s welfare.

ILO Maritime Labour convention on June 23, 2008

ILO Maritime Labour convention on June 23

PANJIM, JUNE 18, 2008 — The conference on the ‘ILO Maritime Labour Convention ’08 will take place in Goa, on June 23, at the International Centre, Dona Paula, Panjim.
The ICSW (International Committee Seafarer’s Welfare) adopted a 4-year seafarer’s welfare development programme for South Asia addressing key issues including regional cooperation and networking, promotion and practical implementation of the ILO instruments of seafarer’s welfare, training of welfare workers, development and maintenance of facilities and services, raising awareness and advocacy, communication, health and fitness of seafarers’, welfare assistance for seafarer’s and their families, ship visiting and access to ships.
Stakeholders of the Shipping Industry from India, Sri lanka Bangladesh and Pakistan will discuss the way forward to implement the MLC 2006 which these countries and all Seafaring Nations had adopted in Geneva on February 23, 2006.
Speakers from Maritime Section International Labour Organization (ILO), International transport federation (ITF), International Christian maritime organization (ICMA) and International Sailor Society will attend .
This will be followed by 5th Regional Welfare Committee Meeting (RWC) at the Sun and Sand Resort Hotel, in Panjim on the June 24 and 25.


Seafarers blank over pension hike


MARGAO, MAY 28, 2008 – When retired seafarers from Goa were promised of a hike in ex-gratia relief – commonly termed as pension — in February 2007, smiles lit the faces of many a retired seafarer that they can finally look to live a life with dignity.
Assurances of the possible hike in the pension by the general secretary of National Union of Seafarers of India, Abdulgani Y Serang and then Save Goa Front Leader Churchill Alemao were received with thunderous claps by the seafarers assembled at the NUSI Maritime Academy in February last year.
More than a year now, the retired seafarers community and their families – some of them in the prime of their life — are hoping against hope when the promise would become a reality.
Presently, the retired seamen and the widows are receiving a monthly ex-gratia relief of Rs 200. Besides, the seafarers and their families enjoy medical benefits at discounted rates at the NUSI hospital at Panzorconne.
The seafarers, however, have been raising the demand of a hike in their ex-gratia or pension as they refer to over the years, but in vain.
When contacted, NUSI representative at its office in Benaulim Xavier Rodrigues told Herald that no communication has come from the NUSI Mumbai office suggesting any substantial hike in the pension. He, however, said NUSI has streamlined the payment of this ex-gratia relief pending since 2005, clearing the relief in installments till date.
Retired Seafarers, however, contend that the existing relief of Rs 200 received by them and the widows is a pittance to meet even the primary needs. Hence, in their last memorandum addressed to Abdulgain Y Serang, the retired seafarers had demanded a hike of Rs 1000 so that they could live a life of dignity.
The seafarers had drawn attention of Abdulgani to the NUSI letter of November 1998 when late Dr Leo Barnes, NUSI ex-general secretary, had proposed various benefits to the seaman, laying emphasis on social security, a hike in pension benefits of Rs 1000 within 2-3 years time and to over Rs 1000 and medical assistance to the seafarers families.
When Herald contacted PWD Minister, Churchill Alemao on the matter, he said that NUSI is indeed working on a process to increase the ex-gratia relief. “I was told by Abdugani during his last visit to Goa that NUSI is already studying the pros and cons of increasing the ex-gratia relief. I am fully supporting the cause of the retired seafarers”, he added.

Bernhard Schulte hosts event for sea going community

Bernhard Schulte hosts event for sea going community

PANJIM (HND) — Bernhard Schulte Ship management (formerly known as Eurasia in India) hosted cocktails and dinner for the sea going community of Goa at Hotel Fidalgo, Panjim and at Hotel Nanu Resorts, Margao, recently.

The event was attended by approximately 150 guests from the maritime community.
Bernhard Schulte Ship-management is the world’s largest privately owned ship manager with a growing fleet of more than 650 ships providing its sea going staff unique opportunities for an excellent career and a long term commitment.

BSM is committed to the continuous development of the seagoing staff through state of art in-house training facilities and holding seminars across the country.
BSM is also committed to the welfare and growth of its officers on board and on leave. Last year this dedication and commitment was extended to the welfare of the families of seafarers sailing with BSM. A family club was formed which has organized many social and cultural get together for families across the country.

Today the industry recognizes BSM’s excellence in bonding with seafarers and families across the country. BSM was awarded for this initiative by Sailor today (leading maritime journal in India) during its annual function.

Effective as of January 1, 2008, Bernhard Schulte Ship management (BSM) has established integrated global operations. Commencing 35 years ago with the formation of Hanseatic in Cyprus, Bernhard Schulte established a group of professional shipmanagement companies around the world that developed both independently and successfully.

National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) News

Hostages released

After two months in captivity, 18 Indian sailors were freed yesterday, when Somali pirates released the hijacked Japanese-owned tanker ‘Stolt Valor’, after a ransom amount that could be as much as $2.5 million (Rs12.50 crore) was paid to them. All the Indian sailors are well, National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) officials have said.
The hijackers had demanded a ransom of $6 million, but were bargained down by NUSI officials, who would not say exactly how much was paid. While the release of the sailors is happy news, the payment of the ransom is not. For it will enable the pirates to acquire more sophisticated arms and better boats to carry on their nefarious activities.
Strangely, negotiations for the release of the ship, carrying 23,818 tonnes of petroleum products, were held in Hong Kong, indicating that the Somali pirates have international mediators. It is high time that the UN, or some other international body, puts together an international task force that can take on the pirates militarily as well as administratively, and put an end to this scourge.

Neglecting seafarers - our tarvottis

Neglecting seafarers

Seafarers dare the huge waves. They stay away from their loved ones, even when their presence is badly needed, all to give a better life to their families. Nobody should play with their sentiments. Once in 6 months they get a sum of Rs1200 from NUSI and now they are fighting to get it increased to a reasonable amount.

About a year ago a meeting was held in presence of ex-seafarer Churchill Alemao and NUSI leaders regarding this issue, but till date nothing has worked out. Now seafarers are holding village-level meetings in presence of the former Asst
Secretary of NUSI Urselino Almeida and Ivor D’Souza. Urselino Almeida claims that NUSI’s funds are just lying around and can be used towards pensions for seafarers.

If funds are not the problem, why they don’t call the present secretary of NUSI at the NUSI Academy and sort out the issue? Something should be done soon, as the current pension of Rs200 per month won’t even fetch you a carton of cigarettes.

Joel Morais, Cuncolim

Monthly seaman’s dole for an ex-seamen’s wife

Why ration card as proof?

“Just wanted to say that we at Goa Civic and Consumer Action Network (GOACAN) are promoting the idea that if you do not take any grains from the ration shop or kerosene from the authorised dealer, there is no need to have a ration card. This is also not the only document to prove your residency,” wrote my neighbour and consumer activist Lorna Fernandes in an email last ecember.

But the ground reality is quite different. That is what I discovered painfully for the last one-and-a-half year, when the talathi of Cuncolim misplaced our ration card and we had to make endless rounds to government offices, involving a lot of paperwork including sworn affadavits, to get back the ration card.

My first stop was a nationalised bank in Margao. The bank official insisted on a xerox copy of the ration card, over and above the electoral card and my other’s official senior citizen card, to open an account. Fortunately I had an old xerox copy and, though he insisted on seeing the original electoral card, did not ask for the original ration card.

The second stop was the National Union of Seafarers of India ( NUSI), on the Benaulim side of the Khareband bridge. Here too the official, Xavier Rodrigues, asked my mother to furnish, along with other documents, a xerox copy of the ration card to get the monthly seaman’s dole for an ex-seamen’s wife.
The ration card continues to be a proof residence and a document which many government offices and banks continue to ask for. The electoral card was to replace
it. But that has not happened.

The ration card as proof should have been discarded long ago. With no photographs on ration cards to prove your identity, impersonation by furnishing someone else’s card is so easy. Lorna and GOACAN’s stand on ration cards is absolutely correct. If you do not collect any grains from the ration shop or kerosene from the authorised dealer, there is no need to have a ration card.

Armstrong Vaz, Qatar

Backwater tourism

12 May,2009

Backwater tourism

This refers to the editorial ‘Backwater tourism at long last’ (Herald, May 9). The initiative of Tourism Minister Miccky Pacheco to speed up plans for backwater tourism and water-based transport needs to be commended. Backwater tourism holds immense potential for employment and all-round economic development of the state.
House-boats, floating cottages, resorts, ferry services, land transport and transfers, ancillary services, village tourism, etc, will usher in economic prosperity. Goa has been gradually losing out to Kerala in tourism. This new initiative will, hopefully, reverse the trend.
The Tourism Department is now planning to purchase launches and boats. Instead, like in other states, the government should encourage Goan NRIs to invest in these initiatives. A few seminars ourism fairs can be held in Gulf countries, so that the benefits of this project remain for the Goans, by the Goans and of the Goans.

Robert Castellino, Calangute

Lawlessness on the seas

Lawlessness on the seas

The commanding officer and sailors of INS Tabar, India’s stealth frigate that is currently engaged in the Gulf of Eden for anti-piracy surveillance and patrol duty by the Western Naval Command are to be commended for their excellent vigilance and teamwork which prevented several piracy attacks on ships and sank a mother vessel 500 km south-west of Salalah in Oman.
With cooperation from maritime nations piracy and armed robbery should be totally wiped out. International seafarers should not be victimised any more due to piracy attacks. These attacks on ships are a matter of grave concern to the international community of seafarers and their family members.
Such piracy attacks at sea take innocent human lives and seriously impair the dignity of human beings. Indonesia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, India, Singapore straits, Somalia and Nigeria are the seven countries which have accounted for more than two-thirds of the piracy attacks.
As per the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Seas (UNCLOS), a pirate who has been apprehended on the high seas is to be dealt with under the laws of the flag state of his captors. Within territorial waters, jurisdiction over armed robbers or pirates rests solely with the coastal state.
In India, at the Tuticorin (Tamil Nadu) and Kandla (Gujarat) ports, armed robbers terrorise ship staff on board ships at anchor, especially in the night. On boarding the ship their first target is to break the lockers of rope, paint, and imported liquor bonded stores and sometimes the container cargo ships having valuable cargo.
In ships calling at Chittagong and Chalan ports (Bangladesh), seafarers have to maintain a 24-hrs piracy watch to prevent armed robbers boarding the ship, although a naval base in Chittagong is just 500 metres away from the port area.
Armed robbers did not spare even the M V River Princess grounded off Candolim beach, where important valuable machinery was found missing as per media reports. Is this not armed robbery or a piracy attempt, where the Goa tourism authorities and the Coast Guard were caught unawares.
The United Nations and the International Maritime Organisation’s safety committee should undertake, on a high priority basis, maritime safety measures which will prevent unlawful acts which threaten the safety of ships and the security of the passengers and crew on board ships worldwide.

Melson F M Louis, Margao

Alleviate Seafarers woes

Alleviate Seafarers woes

It was some months back service since Rs. 100 crore scam was revived which was presumed to be lost three years back. For nearly three years seamen received no dues of Rs. 200. It was only six months ago that seamen were made to open a account with the SBI.- Margao Branch. Churchill Alemao convened a meeting here where he assured that that the amount of Rs 200 would be raised to Rs. 500 for all those eligible for the scheme.
Secretary General Abdul Ghani of the National Union of Seafarers convened another meeting three months later without any concrete steps being taken to implement the scheme. And so the families of the seamen dependent on the scheme are facing hardships and their enquiries on this matter have left them dissatisfied. Will the concerned authorities and Churchill Bab look into the matter and alleviate the suffering of those seamen who are still thankfully alive.

Bonifacio Rodriques, Majorda

NUSI win Inter-Maritime football championship

NUSI win Inter-Maritime football championship
MARGAO, APRIL 21: Defending champions National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) Maritime Academy, Chinchinim defeated Institute of Maritime Studies (IMS) Bogda-Vasco 2-1 to emerge victories in the final of Inter-Maritime Football Championship, organised by National Maritime Celebration Committee at CRC grounds, Chinchinim.
The winners led 2-0 at the breather.
Taking the field as favorites with talented players, NUSI made their intention clear making early inroads.
The first goal came as early in the 10th minute when striker Alvino Fernandez slotted past rival goalkeeper with an adroit placement.
IMS looked overawed by the might of their opponents but slowly came into their own as the match progressed.
Still NUSIĆ¢€™s fast counters always posed a threat and later doubled their lead when Alvino Fernandez free kick joust outside the box gave no chance to the rival goalkeeper as it curled into the net.
After the break, NUSI upped their game by inducing more pace in their moves.
In order to maintain the momentum, NUSI Coach Muktair Singh made couple of substitutions but could not inflate their tally as their forwards either shot wide or straight into the rival goalkeeper.
With the match drifting towards NUSI Academy, IMS fired all cylinders and their efforts bore the fruit when Ashwin V bulge the net from a close range.
Incidentally, NUSI Martime Academy won the championship for the third consecutive years.
Earlier, Abdul Ghani Sarang, general secretary cum treasurer of National Union of Seafarers of India was the chief guest.
Captain Hemant Bhangui, Superintendent of NUSI Academy and Neeraj Aguair, Administrator of NUSI Martime Academy introduced the chief guest to the teams.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

When amcho sezari came from his "botichi viaz".,....

It was many years ago when amcho sezari came from his "botichi viaz", that I heard the word P&O.
He was a tarvotti, and so I assumed the name he was saying was Piano.

Pianocher kam korta?
Hem ani koslem kam?
Muzg vazoita muntlear zainam?

It was that thought in my mind for many years until I came across the advertisement for jobs on P&O. That’s when I realized that it was not PIANO, but P&O - Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company, one of the largest and oldest shipping company in the world.

We have many Goans working for this magnificent shipping company, and when one sees the pictures of these ships one wishes to go on a voyage round the world on them.

I have not had the oppportunity to view them, but only in pictures and yes it’s a dream to sail on the ship. I have read that this great shipping company is going for sale and there is a tug of war going on with two great companies. Singapore based Temasek, and Dubai Ports World.

Well if it is bought by Dubai, than amche Goemkar will meet many Dubaikars on their trips. Wont it be wonderful as many of them already have family and friend connections in Gulf. And many a times they hardly meet each other on their vacations. Well with the tug of war going on with Singapore and Dubai, P&O is becoming richer as their shares have shot up, wonder if it well benefit amche Goemkar on these ships!

Until then, cheers to amchea Goenkar Tarvotti!

Jerry Fernandes (Saudi Arabia)

For your kind information Danish Shiiping Line (Maersk Line) which is a biggest shipping line of this century has already purchased P & O-Nedloyd Lines vessels which transport containers and break-bulk cargoes.

You must be talking about only passenger ships where most of our young goan lads work at present. Some of them died within one year or two years of services and one can see funeral anouncements on Herald and Navind Times. ( Died under tragic cirmcumstances on board the P&O ship or any other cruise ship in USA ).

Our young lads of Goan origin or Indians in general must go in all fields.( must try to work on other general cargo, oil carriers, bulk carriers and container carriers) here one can learn more and the living while working on these types of ships is safe.

On passenger vessels, most of the travelling turists are healthy and wealthy retired pensioners who exploit or young tender lads for their own use with some dollars or pounds where they end up under Tragic Circumstances.

Jerry please encourage and congratulate our goans to go for different fields worldwide.

Rgds/Carmo Santos

The Goan community of London - A Konkani translation of the full story

The Goan community of London

A Konkani translation of the full story

Bharotache poschim kinare voilea Goeam thavn ieun akhea Londdon xarant sthaik zal'lo 6,000 voir lok asa. Londdon bondrantlo Goemkar somudai mullak heach lokacho ek vantto.
India showing Goa, Daman, Diu and Bombay. © NMM
Goemkar somudaiachea mull ugomachem hangasor dil'lem vornnon hea somudaiak Purv Londdon dhokea kodde ani thoinchea doria vahotuk kamakodde aschea sombondachem vornnon korta. Londdon bondra kodde Goemkarank asche sombond East India Company-chea patmarim koddlean suru zata. Uprant Peninsula and Oriental (P&O) ani British India Steam Navigation (BISN) hea kom'poninchea agbottim ani Brittonak Purv Afrika vosnnuke koddli axa, hanche modlo sombond fuddem chalu aslo.

Doria sombondit sonvskrutai

Tarvotti porom'pora

Vasco de Gama. © NMM
Goem Bharotachem ek lhanxem raj; Bharotachea poschim' kinare voileo Goem, Damanv ani Diu, heo tin zomati tachea vantteak ietat. Mhonntana Goenche Konknni uloupi, tarvotti zale tor kainch ojap nhoi.
Goenchea nivasink Mesopotamia ani Sindhu prodexa kodde vepari sombond aslole oxem dista.
Dhavea xekddea meren, dubava vinnem tankam Purv Afrike kodde sombond asle, ani 12-vea xekddea meren Polynesian ulanddi vaportale.

Purtugez vistar
15-vea xekddeache survatek Goemkar Indonesiachea mosalea zunveank poinn kortale. Teach xekddeache okhere meren Purtugezamnim Vasco da Gama (c. 1469–1524) khala Afrikecho bhonvaddo kaddun Bharotak ek doriavatt sodun kaddun Europevank fuddarponn dilem. Hantlean mosale, sed, Chini matiechim aidonam ani rotnam melloun ghevpak vatt ugti zali.

Portugese naval attack on Goa in 1510. © NMM
Afonso De Albuquerque (1453–1515) hannem Goem xar Musulmanam koddlean jikun ghetlem, ani 450 vorsanchi Purtugez razvott suru keli.

Eka samrajeachi rajdhani

Japana thaun Mozambique meren vistarlolea Purtugalachea purve koddlea samrajeachi Goem rajdhani zali, ani ek kherit Indo-Purtugez sonvskrutaiecho vikas zalo.
Zaite Purtugez tarvotti uxnn-prodexant mele ani haka lagun Goemkar, Purtugez tarvotti porom'poreche vantteli zale. Purtugez tarvamnim te Hindu Mhasagorant Purv Asia, Afrika, Brazil ani Europ bhonvle.

Padri ani Kom'poni
Goeant poilo Inglez
Poileant poilim Goeam ail'lea Inglezam poiki aslo Padri Thomas Stephens (1549–1619). 30 vorsanche piraier tannem Europ soddlem ani urlolem aplem jivit Goeam sarlem.

1581 vorsa Purtugalacho patt Espanhacho Philip II haka gelo. Dekhun Purtugal Inglanddacho dusman zalo. Khorem mhollear Purtugalachea navik dollacho vhoddlo vantto Armadachoch vantto zalo. Thomas Stephens hannem soglleant poilem Konknni veakoronn Latin lipient boroilem. Tachea probhavan Goeant bandlolo chhapkhano Asient soglleant poilim bandloleam modem poddta. Tannem Inglanddant aple familik boroilolea potram vorvim 1600 vorsa English East India Company sthapunk preronna dili.

Sombond sudarop

T1630 vorsache Madrid koblati uprant, Inglandd ani Espanha modle sombond sudarle. Hacho porinnam zaun 1635 tem 1639 meren atth Inglez tarvamnim Goeank bhett dili.
1640 vorsa Purtugal Espanha koddlean svotontr zalea uprant Inglez-Purtugez sombond portean sthaple.
1642 vorsache Goem koblatin ani Anglo-Purtugez koraran Brittixank, Macau ek soddun, her sogllea Purtugez tthikannamnim vepar korunk dilo.

Avoddtem bondir
1700 ani 1784 vorsam
Fort Aguada, Goa. © NMM
modem sumar 60 East India Company-chea tarvamnim Goeam bhett dil'li khobor asa. Zaitea Inglez East India Company-chea kapitanvamnim Goeant Natalam monoil'li khobor tarvanchea dispottiantlean gomta.
Aguada thaun savem udok bhorun ghetale tem soddun Goeam thaun
Goa, Een vermaerde koopstad urrak, zollov, mas (mhollear dukor ani boil) ghetale. Oslem mas tankam Brittixanchea probhava khal aslolea Hindu ani Muslim vattharamnim horxim mellonaslem.

Kaim vella East India tarvam fattim vetana Goenchea ani Asiechea tarvottiank (hankam Lascars mhonntale) ghetale.
Lascar hem ek farsi utor, ani tem Inglejint ani Purtugejint Lascarim, Europi nhoi tosle tarvotti hea orthan, bhitor sorlem.

Mumboiche Goenkar
Brittixam khal novi porza
Bombaim (atam Mumboi) 1661 vorsa Purtugez
View of Bombay. © NMM
Braganzachi Catarin, Charles II kodde kazar zatana Brittixank dil'li dot. Mhonntana Mumboiche Goemkar Brittix porza zali.
Charles II hannem East India Company-k Mumboi usnnem dilem. Goem ek boreantlem borem sobhavik bondir, dokhinn-ostomt Bharotachea miriam bondram ani Mumboi vo Surat modegot asa. Tem East India Company-chea tarvank portean portean vaporpachem bondir zalem.

Poili soinik karvai

Attack on the Maratha base of Geriah on 13 February 1756 was the first use of an Indo-Portugese force by the British. © NMM

1756 vorsa Admiral Pocock ani Admiral Watson hannim poilech pavttim Indo-Purtugez soinikank zhuzant vaporle. Doria voilo luttaru, Tulagee Angria, Purtugez ani Inglez tarvancher ghuri ghaltalo dekhun, tache rajdhani Geriacher akromonn korpant tannim vantto ghetlo.

The capture of Geriah, February 1756. © NMM

Brittix foujent Mumboiche tin'xim Indo-Purtugez 'Topaze' asle. 'Topaze' hea utracho orth, he soinik Kristanv aslole dekhun tanchean Hindvank addvarlolem koslem-i kam' korum-ietalem. Hindu kaideam pormonnem kaim torechim kamam ani kaim torechim jevnnam randop tthoravik kastamninch korchim.

East End hangache Lascar

Poilea Lascaranchem iennem
17-vea xekddeache okhere thaun East Greenwich hangache baptismache nondnne pormannem Malabar kinare voilea zaitea Bharotiyank chakram koxim Inglanddak haddlolim. Punn khoim thaun tim ailim tem sarkem sodun kaddunk kotthinn. 1660 vorsa ek Navigation Act (doria poinna vixim kaido) ho kaido ghatlolo, tea pormannem fattim ievpi East India tarvancher charant ek vantto hache poros odik Brittix nhoi tosle tarvotti asche nhoi. Ho kaido chalik lailolo mhonn puravo asa, kiteak 1730 vorsa Greenwich hanga kaido moddloleak ottok kel'lo. East India-chea pogar pustokavelean kollta, Capitanvank Indo-Purtugez randpi itle avoddtale ki he randpi ekach dhonia sangata don vo tin pavtti porian Londdon ani East Indies modem doria poinn kortale mhonn.

Bodli tarvotti chombo

Church of Our Lady of Assumption. © NMM

1720 tem 1800 meren, Londdon bondracho vepar dhondo tipottin vaddlo. East India Company-chim zaitim tarvam Goeank bhett diun Erith, Woolwich vo Deptford dhokeank laglim. Zaite Brittix tarvotti East Indies doria poinnar bhair poddle, dekhun zaite Indo-Purtugez Lascar Bengal ani Madras thaun tarvotti chombeamnim bhorti kele.
Napoleonic zhuza son'dorbhar thoddea kallak 1797 tem 1799 meren Brittix Goeam aslole zal'lean, tache uprant East India Company tarvancher Goemkarank sirviso mellpak nett ailo.

Deptford Goemkar
Brittix Jeneralank Goenchea jevnnachi ruch lagli, ani tannim zaitea Goemkarank randpi ani sadaronn chakram zaupak Mumboi vhelim. Deptford hanga 1796 vorsa St. Nicholas firgojent Indiaman tarvacher ailolea tera Lascarank ani ek Purtugezak purlole; tanche modem Goemkar asle zait. Zor Deptford hanga Goemkar aslole zalear te King Street, New Street ani Lower Street hea vattharant asle zait, kiteak tea kallar sonvsarantle soglle toreche lok ravpi he roste asle.

Soddun dilole tarvotti

Shadwell Basin. © NMM
19-vea xekddeache modegot chodd ani chodd Goemkaramnim Londdon rabito kelo. Chodd-xe tarvanchea dhoniamnim soddun dil'le tarvotti. Survatek gelole chodd-xe Goemkar Purv Londdonachea vixixtt vattharank akorxit zale.
Skittle-ground at the back of the Royal Sovereign Pub. © NMM
Chodd famad vattharam poiki Shadwell hanga High Street thaun bhitor vochpi painnincho gott, zaka Tiger Bay mhonntat.
Hea kallache lokgonnti vake Goemkar ani her Asiekarancho ankddo dinant, karonn tankam biddar ditolea bhattkarank bondkhonnichi khast poddum-ietali. Punn tea vattharant Goemkar aslole mhonn her koddlean purave melltat. Nombor 12, Bluegate Fields hanga sumar 1855 vorsa Goeam thaun ailolo Francis Kaudery (ghoddie Cordeira) Royal Sovereign Public House mhonnlole kodde karbari mhonn kam' kortalo. Lascarank ekamekak mellpak hi ek bori suvat asli. Te hanga sangata mellun urrak piyetale ani tavernachea fattlea angnnant 'skittles' ho khell khelltale.

Porkeanchem Ghor
East India Company-cho adlo sando Lieutenant Colonel R.M. Hughes ani London City Mission hacho vangddi Joseph Salter hannim, hea chodd-xea dubllea lokachi poristhiti polleun tancho
The home for Asiatics, Africans, South Sea Islanders and others at West India Dock Road. © NMM
prosn hatim ghetlo. 1855 vorsa hea manestamnim ek Porkeanchem Ghor sthapon korunk ek zomat apoili.
West India Dock hangachea hea ghorak 'Home for Asiatics, Africans, South Sea Islanders and Others' mukhel dan divpi mhollear bhovmanest East India Company, tinnem £200 dile. Halinch suru kel'li Peninsula and Oriental (P&O) Steam Navigation Company hinnem £20 dile. 1857 vorsa tea ghorachi ugtavnni zali.
Konnak tea vattharant sirvis mellpachi son'di asli, vo purve kodde tarwar fattim vochpache asle, toslea Lascarank thoim proves melltalo. Tea ghorache kuxik Lascars Shipping Agency asli. Tea ghorant kaim Goenkar asle. Tanche poiki eklean thoim apnnachem kumsar aikunk Konknni uloupi padri mellona mhonn tokrar kel'li.

Suez vatt
1869 vorsa Suez Canal ugoddtoch, Afrikecho bhonvaddo kaddinastana soroll Bharotak ani Australiak mottve vatten tarvank poinn korunk mell'lem. Brittix India Steam Navigation Company (BISNC) tosleo kom'poneo hache adinch Hindu Mhasagorant poinn korpi tarvancher Goemkarank sirviso ditaleo, teo atam tankam Suez vatten Londdon vochpi poinnancher-ui vaprunk lagle. Haka lagun Londdon bondrant vochpi P&O tarvancher vavurtolea tarvotteanchea ankddeak hea-i tarvotteancho ankddo zoddlo.
Borovpi sangtat: Isle of Dogs hanga 1872 vorsa Lascar, chakram ani aya (bhurgeancheo norsi) aslim, ani thoim Goenchem urrak melltalem mhonn. Ratcliffe lagsarcho, Limehouse Basin fattlean, ho sogllo vatthar Lascarank avddichi suvat zaun asli. Tanche poikiche kaim dadle thollavea Brittix bailam kodde kazar zale ani Mile End Old Town hanga ravtale. Commercial Road hanga St. Mary's ani St. Michael's igorzank vetale zait.

Poilem kuttumb
Inglanddant ravpi poilem kuttumb mhonn Mascarenhas familik vollkotat; tim Momboiche vatten hanga ailolim ani Martham Street, East Ham hanga ravtalim. Tanchim tegam bhurgim East London hanga zolmol'lim. Shri Mascarenhas bhasancho profsor aslo, ani tachi bail vistid xinvpinn asli.
Him Goemkaram Grove Crescent Road hangasor St. Francis of Assisi igorjek misak vetalim zait. Xarachea chodd girest vattharant sumar so vo sat bailo bhaddeachea ghorant ravtaleo. Him Catholic Goemkaram Bloomfields Street, Moorfields hangachea Roman Catholic kopelak dor Aitara chukoinastana misak vetalim.
Ho poilincho Goemkar somudai il'lo il'lo korun Purv Londdonachea sadea lokanchea zomeant misllun gelo, ani 20-vea xekddeache survatek ek kherit somudai koso urunk na.

P&O ani Lascar
1881 vorsa Peninsula & Oriental (P&O) lainicho nimanno thambo (terminus) Southampton thaun Londdon haloilo. Tea vorsacho lokgonnti vako Londdon bondrachea Goemkar Lascar jonosonkhient javpi bodola vixim moladik nazuk mahiti dita. Soglle sangata mellun 55 voir Goemkar Lascar Londdon bondrachea chear tarvancher asle – tanche poiki P&O-chim tin tarvam. He chodd-xe Goenchea dolala vorvim Mumboi sirvisec lailole. Familinchea itihasachea obheasantlean kaim zonnancho Goeantlo mull ganv sodun kaddum-ieta. P&O Londdon thaun Bharotak vo Australiak vochpi aplea tarvancher Goenkarank vhoddle sonkhien gheit ravle.

St. Katharine's hangache Goemkar
Eke bazuk posre ani dusre vatten St. Katharine's Docks hache gudanv aslolo St. George's Street, Asiechea tarvotteanche avddicho vatthar. Hanga 1888 vorsa eka Goemkaran Cartwright Street, Katharine Building-ant ek flett bhaddeak ghetlolem dista.
1901 vorsa ghetlole lokgonntint Londdonachea Goemkar Lascarancho vaddlolo ankddo dakoila. Londdon bondrant 120 Goemkar tarvotti asle, zanche modle Albert Docks P&O tarvancher 104 zonn asle.

Vosnnuke Karkun
Samrajeache proxasoki sevok
BISNC kom'ponin soit Goemkarank Hindu Mhasagora bhonvtonnim aplea ofisamnim karkun
British India Steam Navigation Company East Africa Coast Service. © NMM
mhonn 1874 vorsa itle adim thaun-ui sirvisek ghetle. BISNC-chea dhonian, Sir William Mackinnon hannem Imperial British East African Company (IBEAC) 1881 vorsa sthapli Uganda Protectorate ani British East Africa hangachea vepar-dhondeachem karbar choloupa khatir. Tarva vahotuk kom'poni ani ek vepari kom'poni modlea sombondacho porinnam zaun 20-vea xekddeant Londdonachea Goemkarancho ankddo il'lo il'lo korun vaddot gelo.
Zanzibar and shipping taken from HMS London, in 1875. © NMM

He fotto 1875 vorsa Zanzibar hanga HMS London hea tarva voilean kaddlole. 1881 vorsa hea Royal Navy mukhel tthanneachea tarvar atth Goemkar asle. Tachea daveak asa tem HMS Malacca; tacher-ui Goenkar asle.

Mackinnon ani BISNC
1891 vorsa Duncan Mackinnon (William Mackinnon hacho putnno) hannem 81 tarvanchea tanddeacho karbar hatim ghetlo. Mackinnon hannem Purv Afrikechem tarvanchem mukhel tthannem Zanzibar thaun Mombasa vhorun Bharot ani Purv Afrika modlea poinnancho ankddo vaddoilo.
BISNC hankam Goemkaranchem visvaxiponn itlem manovlem ki Purv Afrika kocheri choloupak Goemkar stafacher visvas dovrunk lagle.
Dhow anchorage in Mombasa. © NMM

1890 tem 1895 meren, jednam Brittix vosnnuki sorkaran Purv Afrikent IBEAC tabeant ghetlem, tednam Goemkarank vosnnuki proxason sevent ani Purv Afrika ttelegraf ofisamnim sirvisek lavpachem dhoronn apnnaun zal'lem.
Khorem mhollear, 1890 vorsa bhitoruch Mombasant 160 Goemkar dhokeachea ani bondrachea karbarantlea vavrant fatticho konno koxe aslole.

Jednam East African Railways & Harbours (EAR&H) hachi ievzonn vosahoti sorkaran suru keli tednam Goemkarank tantum karbari ani proxason sevok mhonn ghetle.

Purv Afrikeche vostekar

Engines of the East African Railways (EAR). © NMM
Purv Afrikent vochun rabito korpi Goemkarancho ankddo poilea ani dusrea mhazhuzanche modegat (1918–1939) tengxer pavlolo, jednam poilea mhazhuzant Merchant vo Royal Navy seva dilole Goemkar tarvotti aplea kuttumbam soit Purv
Report for Smith Mackenzie & Co. © NMM
Afrikent ravunk gel'le. BISNC kom'poni Purv Afrikent Smith, Mackenzie & Co. hea nanvan aplo dhondo fuddem vhorunk lagli. Hich kom'poni, P&O, BI ani Union Lines hanchi tarvotti veparantli thollavi dolali zaunk pavli. 1950 vorsa meren British Merchant Navy hicho soglleant vhod mhollear BI tarvancho tanddo, punn to Suezache purve kodde choltalo. 'BI Sunday' mhonn famad zal'lea 16 Setembr 1951 disa Mombasa bondrant dor ek dhoko BI tarvamnim apnnailolo, ani tancher 200 Goemkar asle.

Exodus (Nirgomon, mhollear bhair vochpachi khett)

Humttun kaddlole Goemkar
Londdon bondrant mhazhuzam modlea vorsamnim BISNC ani P&O tarvancher, ani dusrea mhazhuza uprant thaun 1960 doxoka meren P&O tarvancher Goemkar tarvotti iet asle. 1960-chea doxokant Afrikent svotontrai chollvollik lagun Kenya, Uganda ani Tanzania proxasoki sevent Goemkaram bodlek Afrikanank gheunk lagle. Purv Afrikent aslolea, Brittix pasport ghetlolea Goemkarank to prodes soddcho poddlo, ani 1967 vorsa uprant bhair vochpeancho ankddo vaddot gelo. Hakach 'Exodus' (nirgomon) mhonnunk lagle. 1972 vorsa Goemkarank Uganda thaun dhanvddaile dekhun Londdon xaracho Goemkar somudai anik vaddlo, zor-ui tantlim zaitim zonnam Canada vochun ravlim.

Aiz Goemkar
Aiz Londdon bondrant ravpi Goemkaram chodd-xim Purv Afrika thaun ailolim. Punn tanche
Goan Cuisine, Plumstead. © NMM
poiki 30 ttokke zonnancho eklo tori purvoz adlea donxim vorsamnim vepari tarvancher tarvotti zaun Londdonak ailolo. Aichea Londdonantlea Goemkar lokanche vanttnnent ani Goeantlea lokache vanttnnent zaito forok asa. Brittix Asiekarancho somudai chodd-so soglloch Goenchea ek vhodd bhagantlo, ani kheritponnim kinare voilea tin talukeantlo, jea vattharak 'Pornni Kabizad' (Velhas Conquistas) mhonntat.

Londdon somudai
Londdon somudai 98% Catholic ani Inglez uloupi, ani somudaiachea 90% von odik lokak Afrike kodde itihasik sombond asat. Hache urfattem, Goeantlo lok aiz:

akhea Goeanchea bhugolik bhagamnim soglleak vistarla
choddant chodd lok Hindu (65%)
choddant chodd Konknni uloupi, olpsonkhen punn borech-xe Moratthi uloupi.

Goemkar somudai choddant chodd modheom vorgachim aslolean, xarachem kendr (zoim chodd-xim survatek ravlolim) soddun bhailea vattharant vochun ravunk sodit aileant.
Page 8 of 8.

Seafarers ahoy!

Goa's Catholic Church to counsel seamen

Panjim, May 30, 2008 (IANS)

Seafarers ahoy! Goa's Catholic Church is taking note of this significant section that makes up a chunk of migrants and has set up special counselling services for seamen and their families.

"These are to be organised from various points in Goa, from various parishes and institutions," said an announcement from the Church. The counselling could focus on anything, from personal family problems to health and religious issues.

For the moment, churches at Mapusa in north Goa, Chinchinim, Mormugao and Bom Jesus (around central coastal Goa) will be taking up the challenge.

Goa's Church says "over the years" it has always been caring for the 'tarvotti' (the Konkani word for seafarer), 'shippy' (the term used to describe someone working on board the ship) or sailor.

"There are some areas in Goa more prominent than others whose husbands and fathers are seafaring workers, for example, the well-known AVC belt of Assolna-Velim-Cuncolim," said an announcement published in Renewal, the magazine of the Goa Church.

In Tiswadi, central Goa, the village of Santo Estevam is also a place "where almost every family has a tarvotti past and present".

There are also retreats being held with special masses, for example, on the third Thursday of every month in Sarzora and on the last Tuesday in Chinchimin.

In the port town of Mormugao, the St Francis Xavier parish has been designated a 'port church', which caters to the needs of visiting seafarers.

Recently, Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao, the head of Goa's Catholic Church, dedicated a new facility for seafarers in Alto Porvorim, in the compound of the Redemptorist Fathers, called the Next Voyage Fitness Centre.

Seafarers resting at home before their next voyage will be given priority here. Membership is open for one, three, six and 12 monthly periods.

Announcing the launch of the Stella Maris Counselling Services in Goa, the Church also noted that the Apostleship of the Sea is an international Catholic network, now covering 118 countries. It also caters to land-based fishing communities.

These counselling services are being organised "from various points in Goa, from various parishes and institutions", the Church announced. The Family Service Centre, and Laity Centre of the Archdiocese will play the role of a hub for them, it was announced.




By Domnic Fernandes

Goans have been migrating to foreign countries for over a century now. In
the late nineteenth century, many Goans went to British Africa in search of
jobs and built their careers there. When the colonies reverted to
indigenous rule, some Goans chose to stay behind while others shifted to
greener pastures in Australia, America, Canada, Great Britain, an so on.

The migratory situation took a different turn in the early twentieth century
when Goans began to take up employment on ships as 'tarvottis' (sailors) and
to the Middle Eastern countries. Thus, Goans working in foreign countries
were divided into three main categories -- Africanders, sailors and Gulfees.
While most Africanders were from Bardez, sailors were from Salcete, and
Gulfees were a mixture from all over Goa mainly consisting of Christians.
This article deals with the last category.

Oil was first discovered in Abadan, Persian Gulf in 1908. It was next
discovered in Iraq in 1918, followed by Bahrain in 1932, Kuwait and Saudi
Arabia in 1938, Qatar in 1940, Abu Dhabi in 1958 (offshore) and 1960 (on
shore), Oman in 1964 and Dubai in 1966.

By the late 1930s, Goans who were suppressed by the Portuguese regime,
managed to leave Goa and find employment in Middle Eastern countries, and
thus began the metamorphosis.

First two Middle Eastern countries where Goans found gainful
employment were Iran and Iraq. By the middle of the last century,
there were quite a number of Goans in these two countries.
Simultaneously, Goans took up employment in Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi
Arabia and Qatar, followed by Abu Dhabi, Oman and Dubai.

Although many Goans were employed in these countries from the late 1930s to
the 1960s, only one of these countries went on to become a significant name
for Goans at the time, and that was Iraq, with Basra as its focus. Why?
Because Basra was the first name Goans had come across when they landed in
the Middle East. As we know, anything that comes first is difficult to be
forgotten. It was also an easy name to remember. Thus, Basra is not just an
ancient city for Goans but it means much more than that because of our
initial attachment to it.

Today, a Goan working in a Middle Eastern country is known to his folks back
home after a given colloquial name for that country. For instance, someone
in Bahrain becomes a Barinkar or Barinvalo. Likewise for those in Kuwait
(Kuvetkar or Kuvetvalo); Saudi Arabia (Saudikar or Saudivalo); Qatar
(Qatarkar or Qatarvalo); Abu Dhabi (Abu Dabikar or Abu Dabivalo); Oman
(Mascatkar or Mascatvalo, known after its capital); Dubai (Dubaikar or
Dubaivalo). However, until the 1960s, regardless of the Middle Eastern
country where a Goan worked, he was known by one colloquial name, Basurkar,
an appellation which of course came from Iraq's capital, Basra!

Upon a Basurkar's arrival in the Persian Gulf and in the Middle Eastern
countries, he earned his salary in Indian Rupees. The Indian rupee had been
serving as the traditional medium of exchange in the Gulf States, the
Trucial States, and in parts of Muscat, for a long time. The Indian Rupee
thus became the standard against which other currencies were measured.

Because of problems in smuggling gold from the Arabian Gulf to
India, in May 1959, India introduced the 'External Rupee' for
circulation in those areas outside India that used the Indian Rupee.
Only the States of the Arabian Gulf used the Indian Rupee at this
time, so the notes designated as External Rupees soon became known
as 'Gulf Rupees'.

The Gulf Rupees were used in the region for a number of years before
becoming redundant. While Iraq replaced the Indian Rupee with the Iraqi
Dinar in October 1932, the circulation of the Indian Rupee continued in Iran
until 1959. Indian notes did not circulate in Saudi Arabia but they were
exchanged in the Kingdom for local currency, and holders of Indian notes in
Saudi Arabia sent the currency back to India for conversion into foreign

The first Gulf State to introduce its own currency was Kuwait, which
introduced the Kuwaiti Dinar on Apri 1, 1961 (two years after the Gulf
Rupees had been introduced). Four years later, on October 16, 1965, Bahrain
introduced its own currency -- the Bahraini Dinar. In 1966 a monetary union
between Qatar and Dubai saw the introduction of the Qatar and Dubai Riyal on
September 18. The remaining emirates of the Trucial States, with the
exception of Abu Dhabi, followed the lead by Qatar and Dubai in response to
the devaluation of the Indian Rupee, and temporarily introduced Saudi
Riyals, subsequently adopting the use of the Riyal of the Qatar and Dubai
Currency Board. By the end of 1966 the Gulf Rupee had ceased to be legal
currency in all states of the Arabian Gulf, with Muscat and Oman being the
only country maintaining it as an official currency. Muscat and Oman
introduced a national currency on May 7, 1970.

Talking about currencies, the first Indo-Portuguese issues of paper currency
were the 'Rupia' denominated notes put into circulation around 1883. These
were issued in denominations of 5,10,20,50,100 and 500 rupias.

In 1906, the Portuguese-run overseas bank Banco Nacional Ultramarino
was entrusted with the responsibility of issuing paper money in
India for the Portuguese-held territories. New denominations of 4
tangas, 8 tangas and one rupia and 2 1/2 rupias were introduced in
1917. The monetary system in vogue in Goa consisted of the Reis, the
Tanga and the Rupia with one Rupia consisting of 16 Tangas. In 1959,
the denominational unit was changed from Rupia to Escudos with one
Escudo consisting of 100 Cent avos. New notes with the
denominations of 30, 60, 100, 300, 600 and 1000 were introduced.
These remained in circulation until Goa's liberation in 1961 when
they were replaced by Indian currency.

Communication between a Basurkar and his family was very difficult.

Once he left for the Gulf, his family would only know that he reached there
safely when they received a letter from him which took over a month to
arrive. I would sit on a rock on the hill behind my house from where I could
clearly see Marmagoa Harbor on my left, Chapora Fort on my right and several
sailboats in the horizon, and imagine my father's letter in one of those

When my mother was worried at not having received a letter from my father
who was employed with the Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), I would console her by
saying: 'Bhienaka maim, paichi chitt jerul hea satollean ieteli karann
hanvem aiz dorieant zaiteo patmari pollelea; tantuntle eke tori patmarin
paichi chitt asteli,' (Don't worry mother; we will definitely receive
father's letter this week because today I saw many sailboats in the sea and
surely one of them must be carrying father's letter).

Much to our surprise, we would sometimes receive a letter that predicted

In those days there was no postal system in the Gulf States. Mail was
collected from sailboats or ships and stored. Initially, mail distribution
took place fortnightly but later in the mid 1950s it was distributed weekly.

While one of the expatriates carried a gunny bag containing letters, a local
person carried a wooden stool with him. Both of them arrived at a designated
place where several expatriates eagerly waited to receive letters from their
dear and near ones.

The expatriate stood on the stool and read out the addressee's name loudly.
If a letter was not claimed, he put it aside and read out the name again
once he was through with the first lot. He finally read out the name for the
third time. If nobody claimed the letter, it went back with them and they
would bring it back on their next visit to the place. They did not mind
handing in a letter to a friend if he claimed to know the addressee.

The Basurkar of yesteryears lived a very difficult life in the Gulf.

It then was was basically a desert, without any trees or greenery.
There were no residential buildings. So, he lived in tents in the
scorching heat and sometimes suffered from heat boils. There were no
desalination plants; so, he drank raw unprocessed water. In short,
it was a tough life away from his family.

The Basurkar sent his hard-earned money to his family every three or four
months through a demand draft which took a long time to reach home because
it came by sea via Karachi. There was only one bank in Mapusa -- Banco
Nacional Ultramarino. But some shops in the town also exchanged Indian Rupee
demand drafts for Rupia and gave a better rate of exchange than the bank;
the most famous among them was Loja Corpo.

The Basurkar left his place of work in the Persian Gulf or Middle East for
vacation by ship and arrived home via Marmagoa port. As public transport
was minimal, it took almost one full day for an Anjunkar to travel from
Marmagoa to his home.

Only one 'caminhao' (an olden-type of bus visible in Goa till the 'sixties)
plied between Siolim and Betim; it made two trips a day. He arrived home
like a military soldier carrying a khaki-colored, ready-made back pack
bedding mounted on his back, a metal trunk in his right hand and a bundle of
things in his left hand. He had to carry his bedding with him to use on the

By the time he reached home, he was a very tired person, but the moment he
was with his family he felt rejuvenated and forgot all the hardship. If he
had small children, they would catch hold of mother's 'kappod' and gaze at
their father, not knowing who exactly he was. He would then approach his
children and try to hug them but they would run away from him because they
thought he was a stranger -- an uncle, perhaps. But mother would call them
and say: 'Baba/bae, ho tumcho pai.' (Son/daughter, this is your father.)

Immediately upon reaching home, he would say a short prayer and thank God
for making his trip safe. His arrival home meant excitement for all,
especially for his wife. She would immediately fill the 'bhand' with water
and start a fire. Once the water was heated, she would call him and say:
'Udok taplem, navonk ieo.' (Water is ready, come for bath.) A wife in those
days never called her husband by name.

In the meantime, she would hastily prepare dinner. Small children would
follow their father everywhere as if to keep a tab on him. Within a day or
two children would ask their mother: 'Maim, to uncle anik kitle dis amgher
ravtolo?' (Mother, how many more days will that uncle stay at our place?) To
which mother would reply: 'Baba/bae, toxem mhunnonant; to tumcho pai; to
hangach amchea sangata ravtolo.' (Son/daughter, don't say that; he is your
father; he will be staying here with us.) It usually took around a week for
children to get acquainted with their father, but he could win their
friendship faster if he gave them more sweets and goodies.

How did one recognize a Basurkar?

A Basurkar wore a gabardine pair of trousers, a terelyne shirt, a West End
or Roamer brand wrist watch on his left hand, a gold bracelet on his right
hand, a gold chain in his neck with a cross pendant, a gold finger ring on
his right hand in addition to the wedding ring on his left hand, Ray-ban
sunglasses, leather shoes, and a hat.

He brought home with him Capstan and 555 brand cigarettes in tins of 50s.
The empty tin was used as a measure for rice; it was equivalent of an
'annatti' (one of the olden wooden measures.) He also brought with him Black
Lion (locally, everyone called it 'Black Line') tobacco and Ritz mottal
(rolling paper) packets. He smoked cigarettes at home and outside, as a
symbol of his status.

He offered cigarettes to anyone who visited his house, including labourers.

A visitor or laborer would pick up a cigarette from the tin, hold it in his
hand, take it close to his nose, sniff it hard and say: 'Ah-a-a,
cigrettichea paleacho ekdom boro pormoll ieta!' (Ah-a-a, this cigarette
tobacco smells very good!) The host would then pass butane Ronson lighter
with which he would light his cigarette and enjoy every puff.

Sometimes, he would sit for a longer time and smoke two or three cigarettes,
and our Basurkar bhav did not mind it at all. If his wife smoked a
'pamparo', she would switch to rolled cigarettes; she also smoked regular
cigarettes. Some dedicated wives helped their husbands by rolling cigarettes
during their leisure time and keeping them ready for their use in a
cigarette tin.

When the stock of cigarettes and tobacco was exhausted, our Basurkar would
go down town and buy cigarettes from the local market -- remember this was
during the Portuguese regime when foreign things were easily available in

Whenever a Basurkar called workers to work to his place, they would
immediately oblige him because at the end of the day's work he would
offer them a drink or two and sometimes even three, and also give
them 'rossanv' (tips.) Even if a Basurkar did not drink, he would
still have an ample stock of liquor in his house. The norm for a
Basurkar in those days was to buy a 'kollso' (pot) each of caju and
palm fenni so that he did not run short of liquor or did not have
run to a tavern to fetch a bottle of liquor whenever guests arrived
at his home. They say: 'Goenkaranchea ghoran anik kiteim unnem assot
punn nhoi soro!' (A Goan house may run short of anything but not

His wife served him bed tea while he still lazed in bed. When relatives or
guests who stayed overnight noticed this behaviour, they couldn't believe
their eyes and would say to themselves in disgust: 'Xi, koslo burso saiba,
tondd duvinastannam chav pieta!' (What a dirty guy, drinks tea without
washing his face!)

He shaved every morning without fail with a razor or with a shaving machine
using 7-O'Clock blades; it was one of the common give away gifts at the
time. Since there was no electricity, he had to choose a place where he
could see his face in the mirror. So, he either chose the kitchen window or
the balcao (verandah). He placed a small mirror on the edge of window, stood
there and shaved, or he would place a mirror on a 'sopo' (couch made of
stone and plastered with cement), kneel on the floor and shave.

There was no shaving cream or spray at that time but he used an Old Spice
soap stick. He would collect water in a small container, dip the shaving
brush in it, and apply the brush continuously on the stick until lather was
produced. As soon as he finished shaving, he splashed Old Spice after-shave
lotion on his face, the fragrance of which instantly filled the house.

Instead of sleeping on the floor on a 'dali' (a mat made of bamboo,) he and
his wife slept on a wooden bed which he bought from 'Milagres fest' church
fair at Mapusa, or 'Tin Raianchem fest' fair at Ponjje, or 'Sant Khursachem
fest' fair at Calafura (Santa Cruz,) or 'Spirit Santachem fest' fair at
Margao. He placed a thick 'kulchanv' (cotton mattress) on the bed, which
was a big luxury at the time.

When he went to bed, he wore a night suit and walked the cow dung covered
floor of the house with leather sandals. By the 1960s, he replaced the cow
dung floor with red cement and made it look like tiles by pressing a tile
form on it.

If our Basurkar happened to be home during the monsoon season, he would step
out of the house with a good quality raincoat, a plastic hat on his head and
gum-boots; sometimes, he also carried an umbrella with him.

Speaking of hats, if he was home in September or October, he would buy a
handmade hat made of grass by cow-herds. Grass grows on our hills during the
monsoon season. By August, it is fully grown. Cow-herds used to take their
cows and buffaloes on the hills for grazing as soon as the rains subsided.
While their cattle grazed, they would pick thick grass, hold the grass blade
in the left hand and remove fluid from it by placing it in between the index
finger and thumb of the right hand and press the fluid out with the thumb
nail. They would first weave a round base and gradually come up with various
items like a hat, hand bag, small basket, pencil or pen holder, etc. This
was a small side-business for them. As children, we joined cow-herds on our
hill and many of us learned to weave grass items through them.

Since transportation was rare in Goa until the 1950s, a Basurkar
bought a 'biciclet' (derived from the Portuguese word 'bicicleta'
[bicycle]) for himself on his first vacation home and proudly
pedalled his way to the fish market or to the town and brought home
groceries, fruits, and the like, filled in cloth bags hung on the
handle bar.

If he was a married man, his wife accompanied him to the market on his
biciclet. She sat on the cross bar, placed her hands on the handle bar and
chatted with her husband throughout their journey, looking behind every now
and then in order to have a glance at his face, and, he in turn, smiled at
her at every look. If he had a child, he would make him or her sit with legs
crossed on the bracket fixed above the hind wheel. While the couple passed
by on their biciclet, people would halt and look at them with awe and
murmur: 'Saiba, kednam amkam biciclet favo zateli ani kednam ami tacher
bosteleanv?' (God, when will we get a bicycle and be able to sit on it?).

One of the first things a Basurkar did when he came down on his
first vacation was to buy a plot, dig a well and gradually build a
house on it. Until then Goans were used to seeing only 'bhattkars'
(landlords) supervise their tenants doing work for them with a
cigarette or cigar in their mouths, but here was one the tenant
himself standing on a site with his left hand on his hip and a
Capstan or 555 cigarette in his mouth and issuing instructions to
workers. Like a bhattkar, he also held an umbrella in his hand to
protect his head from sunshine, or wore a cap or hat. Owning a house
was a huge success for him especially because he could then send his
children to school without a 'bhattkar' restricting him from doing
it. He was altogether a satisfied man with a happy family.

Once the Basurkar settled in his new house, he became a popular person.

He earned a lot of respect from his neighbors and relatives and the people
from the area. All of a sudden, everyone wanted to belong to him. As soon as
he arrived home, all of his relatives would pay him a visit, including the
ones who never even knew him well. But the Basurkar did not mind it; he just
entertained them all.

His poor wife had to do triple duty! While he was away, his family usually
ate rice, curry, fish and vegetables, and beef on Sundays. Chicken was
prepared whenever they had guests; pork and mutton were prepared mostly on
feast days or occasions. However, as soon the Basurkar arrived home, he
would bring meat (beef, pork, mutton, chicken) regularly, and everyday
turned into a feast day. He also slaughtered a pigling on every Sunday.

Children were the happiest lot because they got plenty to eat and this also
brought them closer to their father. In fact, a mother would say to her
children: 'Pai ghora astannam pott bhor khait ani jeiat ani tumkam kiteim
zai zalear atanch tache lagim magat; uprant mhaka bejear korinakat.' (Eat to
your heart's content while your father is at home. If you need anything, ask
him now; don't trouble me afterwards.)

A Basurkar brought a few cosmetics for his wife like Ponds cream bottles (he
sometimes concealed gold coins in it,) Cuticura or Yardley powder tins,
Patra perfume bottles, lipstick, etc.

A Basurkar's wife could be singled out from the lot because of her status.
She would either put on a colorful 'xedacho vistid' (silk dress) or 'gagro
ani bluz' (skirt and blouse) and tie a matching ribbon bow on her head, or
wear a sari and blouse made of taffeta material and tuck fresh flowers on
her 'xenddo' (hair-bun).

She would apply Ponds cream and powder to her face which sometimes exceeded
the limit, making her look like a clown, and people questioned her: 'Mari,
aiz Carnaval kitem gho?' (Mary, is it Carnival today?) She would then pass
on her Calico brand handkerchief to the person and ask him or her to wipe
the extra powder on her face. Since the Basurkarn was just coming up her
life, everything was new for her, including fashion; the poor woman did not
even have a looking mirror in her house. So, how could we blame her for
applying too much powder or lipstick? Her's was the case in the old saying:
'Dekonk naslelem deklem kalum khuimche kailin ghalum?'

For a Goan wife, glass bangles are a sign of 'surungar' (husband's
existence). Therefore, like any other married woman she, too, wore glass
bangles in pairs on her arms but unlike other local women she was able to
replenish them from time to time, and this was no problem for her as in
those days a 'vollar' (glass bangle supplier) visited villages on foot with
a huge bundle of glass bangles mounted on his back.

As he walked the streets of a village, he would give a loud continuous
shout: 'Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh' -- offering a kind of announcement to let the women
know that he was in the village. He knew each and every Basurkar's house in
a village and got very good business from their wives. Some Basurkarni
bought extra pairs of glass bangles and kept them in stock, just in case
they had to attend a special occasion.

There were other ways one could differentiated a Basurkarn from the others.

She wore a pair of Ray-ban sunglasses; high heel shoes; carried a colorful
umbrella and the most distinguishing thing was the wear of 'holdulem'
(gold). She wore as many thick gold bangles on her right hand as she could
afford. On her left hand, she wore a tiny elegant wrist watch. Around her
neck, she wore a thick, long gold chain with a cross pendant.

During a feast or an occasion like a wedding, she wore more ornaments,
including a well crafted 'jog' (necklace) with matching earrings, a finger
ring and a thick bangle with the same design. She applied the famous Patra
scent from a 'sinsli' (a small bottle) -- opened and tilted it on her dress
and then on her right index finger. She then applied the finger to her neck
and earlobes. At the very first glance and smell of the Patra scent, one
knew that this had to be a Basurkar's wife!

A Basurkar in those days usually did not buy gold jewelry from the Middle
East but instead brought home with him small gold bars concealed in his
bedding, which he gave to the goldsmith and asked him to make ornaments of
their choice.

In those days, the Sonarvaddo (goldsmiths' ward) in Gaumvaddy, Anjuna, was
very famous for making gold jewelry. I believe there were many goldsmiths in
the ward but to my knowledge I have known only five from the ward from one
family, the head of which was Shridar.

Besides being a goldsmith, Shridar gave tuitions to Portuguese primary
school children in Portuguese language and math. Shridar had four sons: The
eldest, Laxman, lived in a separate house of his own just across the road.

He went to Mapusa daily on foot. He would leave his house for Mapusa at
around 7 a.m. and return at around 2 p.m. carrying a black umbrella which
had turned whitish due to continuous usage. Although his sons bought
bicycles, then motorcycles and cars, he never traveled in their vehicles; he
continued to walk to Mapusa and back home on foot every day. He walked with
leather sandals which always made a squeaking sound which we could hear from
inside our kitchen as he passed by my house.

Shirdar's second son was Govinda and he was the one who mainly got the
Basurkars' business. The third son was Narayan who gradually shifted to
Guirim and established himself there. Bhaskar, the fourth son, gave up the
ancestral profession and took up a job in Vasco. There were also some
goldsmiths in Chinvar, Anjuna. I remember two names, Ramnath and Intesh; the
latter was a classy goldsmith and he happened to be our family's goldsmith.

Whenever a Basurkar came home on vacation, he would summon a goldsmith to
his house with a pattern book. The husband and wife would go through the
book and select a pattern either for a chain, bangles, earrings, or 'jog',
including a 'fatracho jog' (a necklace with three rectangular blocks, two
small, one on each side and a big one in the middle -- with green plastic in
the background fixed to a thick chain). They would then discuss the price or
making charges. Finally, the Basurkar would tell the goldsmith that he had a
gold bar and ask him for a fresh quote. At the very mention of the gold bar,
the gold-smith's face would brighten with a smile because a gold bar meant
very good profit for him.

There was no electricity in most parts of Goa until the 1960's. Each
room in a house would be lit by a small flickering kerosene lamp.
But, when the Basurkar arrived home, he would buy a kerosene-based
hanging lamp with a glass shade, both of which rested on a metal
frame. He hung the lamp frame to the main wooden beam in the middle
of the hall. Every evening before saying the Angelus, he would fetch
a stool, remove the chimney, pass it on to someone to hold, raise
the wick a little by turning the knob and light it. He would then
place the chimney back in the round groove and reduce the flame by
adjusting the wick with the knob. He also hung similar small lamps
in bedroom(s).

Next, he bought an Aladin table lamp which provided bright light to his
house. This lamp was the pride of every upcoming family then. In addition,
he bought at least one Petromax and made use of it whenever he had too many
guests in his house. The Petromax light was a real blessing to children as
it enabled them to play freely at night. Once father left for the Gulf, we
would use the Petromax for 'vhallan nistem dipkavunk' (to catch fish in the
creek by light reflection.)

He also brought home from abroad a Winchester or Everready searchlight which
he proudly used whenever he visited neighbors at night or went for a tiatr.
He bought a wall clock and hung it either in the main hall or in the master
bedroom. Whenever visitors stayed overnight, they were disturbed by the
hourly strike of the clock and commented: 'Kitem baba hanger sogllo vell
igorjechi ghannt koxi ghodial vazta; matso dollo lagtanch portun ttanv,
ttanv, ttanv zata!' (What nonsense, the clock keeps on striking all the time
like a church bell; when one is about to fall asleep, it strikes yet again).

Initially, it was the same with home people but they became immune to the
sound over the years.

By the late 1950s, the Basurkar introduced a battery-operated radio in the
house and filled the home with music. The most common brand at the time was
Phillips. The famous 'Binaca Hit Parade' program from Radio Ceylon became a
regular feature in almost every house with a radio.

Celebration of any function at a Basurkar's home was marked by
lighting lots of firecrackers. The more the firecrackers and variety
of drinks, the better a function would be. A christening, laying a
house foundation, a litany and a birthday were some of the common
functions at the time.

When a Basurkar held these functions, it meant a better treat for everyone.
For example, if he held a litany to a cross, he would paint the cross with
'koiear' (whitewash made of baked sea shells), decorate it with lots of
'aboleanche jele' (garlands made of local flowers), light more firecrackers
than others, serve cake, 'bolinhas' (sweets made of wheat flour, sugar and
coconut) and other biscuits, serve 'kabuli chonne' (chickpeas), serve
Maceira brandy in addition to local liquor, and please children with a small
glass of wine.

A Basurkar was often nominated to be the president of a church or chapel or
community cross feast, and he made sure that he more than justified the
people's choice. In fact, feast celebrations became a competition over the
years between the Gulfees and sailors; sometimes Africanders, too, joined
the fray.

Speaking of firecrackers, we had a person called Lazarus (Lazar) Fernandes
from Sorantto, Anjuna, who was employed at Aramco in Dhahran in the 1960s
and 1970s. Whenever he came home on vacation, he would buy many cartons of
firecrackers, open them and keep loose packets on the seat of the car, and
as soon as he crossed Assagao boundary and entered Anjuna, he would light up
each firecracker packet with his cigarette and keep throwing them out
through car window until he reached home. When this happened, everyone in
Anjuna knew that Lazar had come home!

He died last year. May his soul rest in peace!

During the days of the Basurkar, sweets were a rarity. So, he brought home
with him dried fruits like figs, apricots, peaches, raisins, 'khajur'
(dates), etc. Khajur was packed in bundles. It was wrapped on the outside
with date tree leaves and secured with a 'sutli' (gunny thread.)

As soon as my father reached home, he would pass on dried fruits to my
mother to store in a container, except the bundle of 'khajur' which would
remain in the main hall. He would cut open the bundle and remove chunks of
'khajur' with a knife. He would then wrap the chunks in newspaper and send
us to distribute them to neighbors. Half of the bundle would go for
distribution and the remaining half would remain for us. The neighbors in
turn would give us whatever fresh fruits they had like bananas, mangoes or
even vegetables like drumsticks, cucumber, etc.

There were no air-planes in those days. So, the Gulfees traveled home by ship
via Karachi. It took around three weeks for them to reach home, but nothing
would happen to dry fruit. Some of the houses in Goa have date trees in
their compounds. These trees are the result of date seeds which were thrown
away in those days. A couple of times, the 'khajur' smelled like petrol and
I guessed the packer must have been packing and selling petrol
simultaneously like our old time 'posorkars' in Goa.

Most Basurkars were nice, generous and helpful.

One of our ward members, Antonio Joao Fernandes, worked in BAPCO from the
1950s through the early 1970s. Whenever he came home on vacation, he brought
tennis balls and distributed one ball to each child in the ward. As soon as
we received the ball, we would jump with joy, thank him and say 'Dev borem
korum ankol' (Thank you, uncle)!

We used those balls to play cricket with a'piddeachem' (coconut leaf stem)
bat. We would use only one ball at a time and replace it only when it was
broken. The stock of balls he gave us would last for a year when again he
would bring us more. I came to know later that the balls he gave us were
collected from tennis players in his Company who usually changed balls after
every two sets, but for us in those days they were brand new, and to receive
a ball as a gift was one of the greatest things.

I am grateful to Antonio Joao uncle to this day, and I mention this fact to
the children in Gaumvaddy every time I am home on vacation.

Just like a tarvotti who passed on a 'nolli' (scroll of certificate) to his
son and secured a job for him on a P&O (most people called it 'Piano'!)
ship, the Basurkar also arranged for a visa and brought his son(s),
relatives and friends to the place of his work and provided them with
employment. Thus, right now we probably have the fourth Goan generation
working in Gulf countries!

The Basurkar and his generations have contributed vastly towards
overall development of Goa. Every time he visits Goa, he creates
temporary jobs for his fellow Goans as masons, carpenters, painters,
laborers, etc., and helps them as much as he can.

But life for him has not been a bed of roses as many may think.
Everything has a price tag on it, and many Goans in the Gulf have
had to pay a heavy price for their long stay here. In the process of
providing a better life to his family, the Basurkar lost a lot on
his home front. Prolonged absence from his home and family has
resulted in many family separations. Many of his family members,
relatives and friends took undue advantage of his generosity and
duped him time and again. As a result, he has had to make a new
beginning many times. What does he do in this case? Hang in there

Goans are spend-thrifts -- a happy-go-lucky people! This being the case,
over the years they never gave a serious thought to saving. As a matter of
fact, they really didn't get the hang of savings until after Goa's
liberation in December 1961, as the norm for most Goans during the
Portuguese regime was: 'Haddli podd, khal'li podd,' which roughly translated
means 'Live for the day'.

Until recently, they also believed in: 'Bhurghim zoddit, bhurghim khait'
(let the children earn and support themselves). Goans love entertainment, so
when it comes to parties and celebrations they are always in the forefront.
Goans believe in keeping their relatives and friends happy and do not mind
spending large amounts of money on them. They will even go out of their way
to borrow money in order to keep them happy. The result? No savings!

What do you do? Hang on in the Gulf endlessly! However, there is a big
change in this regard among the new generation born after 1970; they are
more cautious. Of course, they have learned from previous generations'

Many Goans working in the Gulf invested their entire savings in building
palatial houses. Those who managed to pay for such projects are now trying
to save for their future, and others continue to pay for such projects,
which mean they have to hang in there until they pay for the house and then
begin to save for their future.

Until the 1980's, education was quite cheap and did not warrant any fund
planning. It is altogether a different ball game now, as we have to make a
provision in lakhs of rupees and sometimes in millions just to give adequate
education to a child. So, what does a Gulfee do? Hang in there!

Life in some of the Gulf states is like being in paradise -- so good that
many Goans get themselves drowned in it and are never able to come out from
it. These states have practically everything that is available back home and
much more -- club entertainment, drinks, nightclubs, dances, hops, jam
sessions, all sorts of celebrations, parties, gambling, you name it. There
are many Goans who fell prey to such a lifestyle and returned home
empty-handed after decades of service in the Gulf.

Many of us thought that the Gulf was our permanent home. Well, it is
not so any longer; most of us might have to leave this region pretty
soon -- the writing is already on the wall! So, make hay while the
sun shines!

The above are only a few reasons why Goans have prolonged their stay in the
Gulf, but considering the present circumstances in the region, is he going
to be able to hang in there in the near future? The need of the day is
tenfold more compared to the past, and it doubles with a single earning
family member.

In the late 19th century Goans found jobs in British Africa and in the early
20th century in Middle Eastern countries. If the Gulf closes its gates to
the expatriates, where do we head next? 'Dhonia Deva Tum amkam pav!' (God
help us!)

That's all for now from Dom's antique shelf... for today!

The writer is from Anjuna/Dhahran, KSA and dedicates this article to Goans
in the Gulf. His widely-appreciated nostalgic writing has been appearing on
Goanet in his 'Dom's antique shelf' series.