Goa plans study on out-migration


Porvorim (Goa) : Goa is planning to have a migration monitoring study shortly, with the state having a long history of skilled as well as unskilled jobseekers moving out and settling overseas.

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The state’s Commissioner for NRI Affairs, Eduardo Faleiro, said Goa University’s department of sociology was being approached for the study.

“Migration has long been important to the people of Goa. We need to adopt a scientific approach towards understanding migration,” Faleiro said at a function held at the Xavier Centre of Historical Research here.

“We also need to understand what is the implication of (out) migration for Goan society and the economy. Goans have migrated before, during and after colonial times,” said Faleiro, a former union minister who became Goa’s commissioner for NRI affairs after his term in the Rajya Sabha ended.

He pointed out that migration – whether to remote places like Myanmar decades ago, or to the Gulf, which he recently visited – involved both highly qualified people and unskilled job seekers from Goa.

Faleiro also announced plans for a Know Goa Programme that would bring 10 young people “in the 20s and 30s” back to Goa each year to study the life here and in one other state of India. “We would focus on young Goans who have never been back home,” he announced.

For a range of complex historic reasons, Goan out-migration, especially going abroad, has come largely from the Catholic population in the state.

December is the time when a number of expatriate Goans from across the globe head home, in keeping with the peak tourist season that is also a time for Christmas festivities.

Over the past few days, an online network of largely Goan expatriates called goanet.org held its annual reunion in this state, and felicitated an eight-year-old Goan international chess champion, Ivana Furtado, during the event.

During the weekend, the GoaSudharop.org, another not-for-profit organisation meant to encourage local initiatives back home, held a discussion and debate on critical issues facing Goa.

Speaking during a panel discussion at the function addressed by Faleiro, ad professional Cajetan Vaz suggested that Goan migrants retained their links with home, when they kept ties with the “three pillars” of their language, food and music.

Writer Vivek “VM” Menezes said a significant bit of Goan prosperity was based on migration. Besides remittances of money and ideas, expatriate Goans had been early adopters, adapters and cultural brokers, he said.