The South Goa Action Forum (SGAF) has demanded a greater or larger pie in terms of participation and events at the India International Film Festival or IFFI 2013 scheduled to begin on 20th November in Panaji. The SGAF – an umbrella association of small businesses, tourist agencies, taxi operators, small hotels, motels and restaurants in Colva, Varca, Betul, Canacona, Palolem and the entire coastal stretch of South Goa has formulated a memorandum which will be presented to Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar next week.
Says Franklyn Ronald Remedios, convener and secretary of SGAF, “The SGAF has demanded that the opening and closing events as well as at least 2-3 major events are held in South Goa. This year the twin ceremonies are likely to be held at the Lusofonia stadium at Bambolim while for the last few years the Kala Academy was the venue for the main ceremony.” The SGAF memorandum quotes a report by the Forum for Promoting Employment and Entrepreneurship in Goa which concludes that less than 30 per cent tourists entering Goa in the North venture to the Southern side creating a great “social and business divide” between the North and the South, opined Remedios.
The Entertainment Society of Goa or ESG should be more transparent in its functioning and demand a stronger role for local Goans in the organization of the event. Goa should not be used and misused by the central government for furthering its own agendas, said Remedios.
The SGAF has been very vocal in its opposition to the MOPA Airport (at the northern tip of Goa) on the grounds that small businesses in the far southern tip of Goa will suffer heavily feels that South Goa is given step-motherly treatment at most international events hosted in the State.