CommentTimeMay 27th 2008
Good afternoon to all at the Save Goa campaign,
I wanted to write a mail to you to express my support for your campaign. It may sound a little crazy but I am also a resident of England and I have been in the very fortunate position of visiting India and Goa for over 11 years now and I not only feel outraged by the current situation in Goa posed by the infiltration of so many tourists and foreign settlers but really severely sickened. I know that not all foreigners arrive with a negative view and influence and some really do feel the same as we all do here in this forum but I cannot express my sorrow and apologies enough to the Goan residents for the severity of the situation both ecologically and culturally due to the demands of the ever growing tourist sector. I adore Goa and its people as I do India as a whole but my recent visits to Goa have left me with a very bad taste, and this I may conclude is not due to the influence of Goans but from the negative influence of my fellow man visiting from various parts of Europe and the westernised world. And yet with every visit I make to Goa the evidence is laid bare with more and more land being converted to apartment blocks and hotel / housing projects at an alarming rate that the scene is only set to worsen. The situation has upset me so much that I decided to devote my major university project to the documentation of the negative effects felt through over and irresponsible tourism practices within Goa, both on an ecological and cultural basis. My project looked not only at the coastal belt but at the blatant destruction and demise of important ecological niches and cultural inheritance across all areas including the Goan interior and as far as the majestic Sahyadris.
Unfortunately the supermarket culture of the UK and other westernised countries is encroaching into your homestead and I urge you take action before it is too late. The very reason that people began to flock to Goa was due its incredible display of natural beauty in all its varied and diverse forms along with the wonderful susegad lifestyle. In this whimsical world we live, once the natural beauty has expired due to degradation caused by the ever increasing demands of the tourism industry the tourists themselves would never return. This may sound over the top and melodramatic but unfortunately, and I am ashamed to say that this is the mantra of a huge percentage of our society as ours is increasingly delving into the deepest depths of a throw away society / lifestyle. I know that with a healthy tourism sector money comes too, but as time passes more and more international chains and foreign investments are taking over the market in Goa and as they do the demise of local industries goes hand in hand. Who is actually benefiting from this infiltration?
I hope to return to Goa for many years to come as my experiences, mainly away from the coastal belt still leave me intoxicated by the beauty and warmth displayed by the nature and incredible people of Goa. Please do not let my countrymen spoil the beauty you behold, it is far too vitally important on so many levels to let that happen. Allow the beauty which Goa beholds to shine out for many years to come; please do not allow it to become another statistic as a ruined and rotten place which was once so much more. On a biodiversity point your species richness within the state of Goa is really quite phenomenal but already it is massive decline again partly due to the influence of over and irresponsible tourism with its destruction and fragmentation of important habitat sites, excess garbage contaminating ground water and killing marine and terrestrial species and wasteful energy consumption. Goa has well and truly exceeded its carrying capacity and without careful reconsideration of how to build its future the future could look very bleak indeed. It is up to us all to provide safe and protected areas for all species to thrive, the beaches, forests and hills which are now effected were for thousands of years home to other species other than man himself, we should all respect this fact and help in this plight to provide protection at every level.
I thank you for your patience and I wish you every success with this campaign.