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The Governor of Goa Shri P.S. Sreedharan Pillai has extended his warm greetings and best wishes to the people of Goa on the occasion of Goa Liberation Day.

In his message the Governor said that on this glorious day in 1961, the last Portuguese Governor General surrendered to the victorious Indian Armed Forces paving the way for freedom of Goa from the shackles of Portuguese Rule. This day this year is also memorable as Goa completes the milestone of 60 years of liberation. I feel proud to join this historic occasion of celebrating the diamond jubilee of Goa’s liberation. On this momentous day, I extend my warm greetings and best wishes to the people of Goa.

The Governor further adds, the journey to freedom was long and arduous. Freedom fighters from Goa and from other parts of India underwent numerous sufferings and sacrifices in their struggle for emancipation. It is only appropriate that on this historic day, we salute the brave and valiant soldiers as well as the spirited and selfless freedom fighters. Let us also pay homage to all those great souls who laid down their valuable life for the freedom of Goa. I would like to quote Kavi Bakibab Borkar who said “Tethe kar majhe julati’ meaning my hands fold in deep reverence to all those who sacrificed for their motherland.

Goa boasts of a unique identity that the people of Goa have collectively striven to preserve and protect in the post Liberation period in the face of various challenges. The 1967 opinion poll confirmed this special identity of Goa. The emergence of Statehood in 1987 is a milestone in the journey to maintain its distinct heritage. The inclusion of Konkani in the 8th Schedule of Indian Constitution further cemented the individuality of the State. I compliment all leaders and people of Goa for having fought hard to preserve and protect this exclusive identity.

Goa has many impressive achievements to its credit such as highest per Capita income, third place in the country for the Human Development Index, best performing State for the third time in Food Safety Index and best-placed State by the Finance Commission for its infrastructure. In SDG (Sustainable Development Goals), Goa has stood 4th rank in the country by securing a score of 72 as against 75. Further, Goa is the only State to become achiever of two SDGs i.e. No. 6: Clean Water and Sanitation and No. 7 Alternative Clean Energy. Moreover, in the fight against Covid 100% vaccination of one dose for the entire eligible population has been attained. The second dose also has been completed to the extent of 91% of the eligible population and it is planned to achieve 100% this month through special vaccination camps.

 The tourism sector is one of the main drivers of the Goan economy. Goa is renowned world over as a top tourist destination. Goa is endowed with rich flora and fauna. Besides, the State has a vibrant culture and heritage. Further, the people of Goa are friendly and peace loving. Different communities in Goa have existed in complete harmony. This combined with Goa’s extraordinary beauty has made it a world famous tourist destination. With the COVID situation rapidly improving all over the country, Goa has opened its doors to all tourists who have undergone full vaccination. The tourism scenario therefore is very bright and Goa is expected to grow in tourism to pre-COVID levels in the next few months. At the same time the Government is enforcing health protocols strictly.

Regarding the implementation of National Education Policy 2020, the State Government has taken earnest steps for its implementation. Two Task Forces have been set up for School Education and Higher Education and their reports are still under finalisation. In pre-primary education, the age for admission has been implemented from this academic year.

Following the call of AatmaNirbhar Bharat by Prime Minister, the State Government launched ‘Swayampurna Goa’ to achieve self-sufficiency in Goa. The goal is to make all villages/towns self sufficient in Goa by harnessing the local resources available. Based on the overwhelming response from the public, the Government has initiated a programme, “Government at your door step” or “Sarkar thumchya daari” During last one year, more than 1800 programmes have been conducted benefitting more than 40,000 persons. The Swayampurna Paryavekshaks, Nodal Officers, Link Officers, Councilors, Beneficiaries, Self Help Groups have shown their enthusiasm and contribution in the development of the State. The aim of the programme is “Sab ka Saath, Sab ka Vikas aur Sab ka Vishwas”. It is a new model of development for Goa demonstrating pro-active and pro-people governance.

Government has worked energetically for the development of the State by providing infrastructure in the form of roads, railways, airports and bridges. I would like to highlight the new prestigious 08 lane Zuari Bridge at a cost of Rs. 2500 crores which is under completion. The first lane is planned to be opened in April, 2022. The work of construction of the new International Airport at Mopa at a cost of Rs. 2600 crores is progressing at a rapid pace. It is expected to be completed by December, 2022. The historic Aguada Jail at a cost of Rs. 40 crores has been converted into a Heritage Museum and is scheduled to be inaugurated today. Recently, the foundation stone has been laid for the Goa campus of National Forensic Science University.

On September 16th on the eve of the 71st Birthday of Prime Minister I have announced a scheme of financial assistance from the Governor’s Fund to 71 social service NGOS (old-age/childcare/shelter homes/orphanages) and for 71 patients undergoing dialysis treatment. This is a novel initiative undertaken by Raj Bhavan to serve the people who are in need of support and assistance. This inclusive scheme has been well received by all sections of the society. I have extensively toured the two Districts in the State. I have met and interacted with the inmates-old, young and differently abled persons – of destitute/old-age/shelter homes and disbursed financial aid to these institutions at their doorstep and at the same time, given financial assistance to a number of dialysis patients.

I have hosted children and elders from 10 social service institutions, spending time with them. I could see their happy faces. It was a momentous occasion for them to have Raj Bhavan Darshan.

On this momentous day while recalling memories of all those great people who gave freedom, I appeal to the people of Goa to rededicate themselves to shaping a bright and better future for our Country and State, the Governor concludes.

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