Prutha Goa Website
Xavier Centre of
Xavier Centre of Historical Research launched an innovative venture in the world of cyberspace journalism on September 20, 2014. This endeavour, which is the brainchild of international consultant and MD of the NGO, Volunteering Goa Ltd., Mr. Richard Lees, is meant to function as an online resource that will tangibly create an environment of selflessness and generosity through inspiring stories and articles. The website, named Prutha, meaning daughter of the earth, will carry articles on a range of topics from the arts, the environment, culture, scientific breakthroughs to conventional social work. The website can be accessed at www.pruthagoa.com.
The formal launch of Prutha took place at Xavier Centre of Historical Research, beginning with an introduction by Fr. Savio Abreu SJ, the director of Xavier Centre of Historical Research. Fr. Savio Abreu spoke of the value of acting on new ideas that would lead to the betterment of society. He said, ‘Xavier Centre of Historical Research may be associated with history but we can see how a concept like Prutha can be tied up with it. History is intrinsically linked with change and its study is meant to inspire the positive transformation of society. The website, Prutha, is an attempt to motivate positive change in society.’
The launch also saw the intellectual outpourings of well-known stalwarts of Goan society: playwright Isabel de Santa Rita Vás , Fr. Jose Sequeira and Ms. Rashmi Mathias from the NGO sector, environmentalist Mr. Rajendra Kerkar and Mr. Manguirish Pai Raiker from the corporate sector.
Ms. Isabel de Santa Rita Vás propounded the role of literature and drama in bringing about positive transformation in society. An active member of The Mustard Seed Art Company, Ms. Vás said that great literature had the capacity to stimulate thinking which could lead to change but there was a half and half chance of it effecting transformation by itself alone. She said, ‘Who is it that dictators are most afraid of and impose censorship on? It is the writers! Because they understand the power the writer wields in his pen.’
Executive Director of Konkan Development Society (Don Bosco), Fr. Jose Sequeira and Ms. Rashmi Mathias, who has worked extensively with the United Nations, spoke about the necessity of capable NGOs in alleviating the conditions of abject poverty and ignorance among the underprivileged. When the working of NGOs was contested as not always being trustworthy by Mr. Victor Hugo Gomes of Goa Chitra, Benaulim, Fr. Jose Sequeira responded saying there were, unfortunately, NGOs with shady antecedents. But one should not dismiss the positive work done by some of the NGOs because of the corruption present in other such institutions.
Mr. Rajendra Kerkar, who has been leading activism against mining in the bid to save Goa’s water bodies, shared insightful information on the utility of age old practices such as the worship of the ant hill in protecting water bodies. As these ant hills are always found near water sources, the surrounding area is also preserved while obeisance is made to the deity it represents.
The corporate sector was well represented by Mr. Manguirish Pai Raiker, chairman and M.D. of Brown Packaging Systems Pvt. Ltd. He spoke about corporate social responsibility (CSR) and criticised the act of simply contributing money towards the upliftment of society without the essential element of heart being involved. He cited his own example of exhorting his employees to use their ingenuity to respond to CSR. They amazed him by becoming regular visitors to an old age home where the inmates began eagerly waiting for their visits, and engaging in other meaningful activities. He stressed on the fact that small acts which were done out of the goodness of heart had a greater impact than simply giving away large amounts of money.
The session ended with Mr. Richard Lees explaining his vision of the role Prutha was to play in improving life in Goa. He said the driving force behind the concept of Prutha was the amalgamation of various strands such as literature, culture, science, history, art, social work, etc. and their utilisation in stimulating the Goan people to think and feel for their fellow brothers and sisters, especially those in need of aid.
The website will be updated with two new articles every week and there is a blog where readers can send in their photographs, articles, poems, etc. after registering with the site. Content ideas are welcome and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and for suggestions and information, e-mail email@example.com. For advertisements email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information, the contact numbers are 9657490274/7719862873.