The International Centre Goa: Promoting a Positive Goa
Iris C F Gomes
Since it was founded in 1987, the International Centre Goa (ICG) has served as a meeting ground for academicians, artists and industrialists from all over India and the world to build bridges of communication that will discuss and pursue the different means of resolving issues that our world faces. The sprawling expanse of edifice and flora is located at Dona Paula on the outskirts of Panjim and has a number of facets to it.
With the main goal of ideating about vital concerns challenging the global citizenry, the International Centre Goa has held numerous seminars, conferences, lectures, etc to formulate schemes that will see the progress of cultural, social, economic and political relations the world over and within the country. There have been training sessions, workshops and study courses that will generate and strengthen the problem resolving abilities of those involved in these areas. Programmes have been held to maintain a high level of researching capability and the centre has links with professional and educational institutions to work towards promoting dialogue and a supportive attitude between nations and within India. The International Centre Goa acts in an advisory capacity in matters of international and national importance when called upon to do so, and has taken on the objective of percolating information pertaining to discussions on economic, social, cultural and political themes by way of published journals, research papers, pamphlets, books and so on.
The non-profit organisation has been the home to GALF (Goa Arts and Literary Festival), which was established thanks to the ICG’s first woman director Nandini Sahai. GALF has played an exemplary role in creating a confluence of regional, national, and diasporic literature and art with lectures, discussions, book releases and the like. Difficult Dialogues, a yearly event to discuss issues related to health, economics, society, etc, has been held here since 2016. Some of the other programmes that have been held here are the ICG Lecture Series by Eminent Persons with an example being the lecture ‘Leading from behind!’ by Vijay Crishna; the lecture on leadership by Cdr Dilip Donde, who is the first Indian to sail solo around the world; and a panel discussion on the ‘Implementation of the Goa (Rights of Citizen to Time Bound Delivery of Public services) Act, 2013’. Besides this, there are book launches, quiz competitions, creative workshops (on pottery, art, scriptwriting and so on), etc that are held regularly.
Heeding the call to an immediate concern for the environment, The International Centre Goa has set up the initiative called ‘Clean Goa for Green Goa’. The Centre holds talks and workshops dealing with waste management, organic farming, etc. With the intention of setting an example of learning and preservation, the centre has set up a recycling-composting unit and the fertiliser it produces is utilised in the centre’s organic kitchen garden called Shaak Baag. There is also a rain water harvesting cum groundwater recharging unit, which provides 25 lakh litres of water per year. It is not used for drinking but is perfect for the gardens and all other purposes. There is a further intention of bringing in wind-solar hybrid systems to supply electricity to the centre, covering a major portion of its needs.
‘I Care for Goa’ initiative is a stance taken by the International Centre Goa against the negative portrayal of Goa in the media by taking up matters concerning Goa and finding solutions that will help create a more positively progressive state.
The International Centre Goa can be commended in the upkeep of its premises that includes four conference halls, a library, and an open-air amphitheatre that is apt for plays, performances and social gatherings. There are forty two rooms replete with creature comforts such as air conditioning, cable television, a mini-fridge, etc, a multi-cuisine restaurant, a pool, a gymnasium and a recreation centre.
The life trustees of the International Centre Goa, who make all the significant decisions regarding the centre, include, among others, the present president of ICG Yatin Kakodkar, Dattaraj Salgaocar, Pratapsingh Raoji Rane, Dr Ligia Noronha, and Adv Subhalaxmi Nayak.
The International Centre Goa continues to grow, forming liaisons with prominent and educative institutions and individuals, and striving to place Goa on the map as a cultural and intellectual hub.