Friday, April 22, 2011

Is GOA all about liquor, drugs and prostitution ?

Here in Goa, liquor is cheap and women are cheaper”, these are the lines said by none other than Bipasha Basu in her latest movie ”Dum Maro dum” which clearly shows how badly Goa’s image is being projected nowadays.
Goa, an international tourism destination is now facing a major identity crisis as more and more people now relate Goa to liquor, drugs and prostitution.
If Goa’s image is continuously shown in bad light just imagine the harm it might pose to the future prospects of Goa’s colleges and schools as well as the esteemed BITS-PILANI GOA CAMPUS.
I am writing this post to convince you that Goa is still a tourism paradise and not at all an exclusive destination for booze and sex.
Having spent more than 2 years studying in Goa and after visiting almost each and every corner of Goa I have to come the conclusion that Goa though full of natural beauty is now unfortunately getting only negative publicity.
In the following paragraphs, I will let you know about the possible factors affecting Goa’s image and then tell you why Goa should be the most sought after tourism destination.
I clearly remember those times when I was selected for BITS GOA and my parents tried their level best not to send me here. My relatives especially pestered my parents by telling them all ill things about Goa. But still I managed to come here all thanks to a senior of mine who cleared all my parents’ misconceptions about Goa. And now if you ask my parents if they feel satisfied ? The answer will definitely be Yes !
I asked my friends studying in IITs and NITs about their college lifestyles and I must admit that alcohol, smoking and drugs are far more rampant in their colleges as compared to our college. People say a lot of ill things about Goa thanks to the highly exaggerated negative publicity by the media. Goa has always been in news for the following acquisitions:
1st acquisition: cheap liquor is harming the society
Well, The Goa govt,. provides Tax-Free liquor for the benfit of tourists only. Goa is always in a festive mood with parties happening all around everytime and if Goans believe in the motto of “dance, drink and be merry” why do others take it in a negative sense? Alcohol consumption is rampant in each and every part of India, I do not understand why people create so much fuss about drinking cheap liquor here in Goa.
2nd acquisition: Goa is a sex- destination
Many people believe Goa is full of prostitution and rave parties. According to Human Rights Watch report, there are around 20 million sex workers in India out of which Mumbai alone has 2 lakhs. GB road in New Delhi and Lachipur in Kolkata are the largest red light districts in India. Rave parties and prostitution happen everywhere in India. Don’t you think it’s highly foolish to term Goa as sex-destination when prostitution is happening in even bigger numbers elsewhere?
3rd acquisition: Goa is unsafe for women
According to the latest govt. statistics, Delhi accounted for 13.2 % of the total crimes on women reported in 2009 followed by Bengaluru and Mumbai. Goa is far below in the list. There have been cases of rape and eve-teasing in Goa but don’t’ we have cases of even more cruel crimes happening on women elsewhere such as that of Jessica Lal’s murder and Aruna shaunbag’s rape.
What I am trying to convey here is that Goa too has its own share of social problems just like any of other cities of India. However, it is completely unfair to associate Goa only with liquor, drugs and prostitution.
How can one forget about the beautiful beaches, world heritage sites, churches and the tremendous scenic beauty of Goa which attracts more than 2.1 million tourists annually. Goa is such a peaceful and holy state. If you take a walk around Goan streets, you can easily spot Temples, Mosques and Churches all built alongside at many places. Goa is a perfect example of communal and religious harmony.
English, Hindi, Konkani, Marathi, Urdu, Telugu, Malyalam,  All these languages are spoken here in Goa. 
Goa should be known for its immense natural beauty and cultural diversity. I state it again that Goa shouldn’t be known as a place exclusively for alcohol, drugs and prostitution.
The controversial lines of the movie “Dum Maro Dum” might help them gain cheap publicity out of it but we as responsible Indian citizens should help in curbing such false rumors about Goa.
What needs to be changed is the mindset of people regarding Goa. I urge you all to please clear your friends’ and relatives’ misconceptions about Goa and
tell them about Goa’s beautiful beaches,
tell them about Goa’s mesmerizing climate,
tell them about the cool breeze of Goa.
Let the whole world know that Goa is also a paradise on Earth endowed with heavenly beauty.