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- Key Interventions
Here you can find the Key Interventions (Campaigns, Events and Other Interventions) related to this State. These can be sorted year wise. On clicking a Title, you can read online and download the respective Key Intervention.
Here you can find Resources (Papers, Publications and Presentations) linked to this State. These can be sorted year wise. On clicking a Title, you can read online and download the respective Resource. Please do acknowledge EQUATIONS when quoting from or using these resources in any manner.
Goa on the western coast is India’s best known beach tourism destination. Tourism is also a significant part of Goa’s economy. After gaining independence from Portuguese rule in 1961, Goa developed as a tourism hot-spot. The hippies, drawn to Goa’s beaches, arrived in Anjuna Calangute as early as 1967. Tourism continued to grow unabated - the late eighties and early nineties saw an influx of charter tourists, as well as low budget tourists and backpackers. The profile of international tourists also have shifted over the years. While the number of British and Europeans remain large, Israelis and Russians are increasingly a growing proportion of the international tourist profile in Goa. Along with the growth of tourism have come a set of impacts that epitomises the contradictions, dilemmas and challenges of tourism development- drug trade, nudists, rave parties, charter flights, trances, increased crime and violence, cultural commodification, the grip of international mafia and cartels, child sex tourism, environmental degradation and coastal erosion - Goa has seen it all.
The impact of mass tourism on local communities ecology, economy and culture has been immense and an unfortunate example for the rest of the country to learn from. Not many Goans are happy with this development and they believe the costs that local people have borne are too high. Goa naturally became the focus of EQUATIONS work, when we were founded in 1985.
The late 80s and 90s marked heightened struggles against tourism development in Goa. Opposition to a luxury hotel in Agonda, resistance against the expansion of the Taj Holiday village in Sinquerim , resistance against the expansion of the Leela Beach resort in Salcete, the boycott Ramada hotel campaign …the list goes on. The Jagrut Goenkaranchi Fauz (Vigilant Goans Army) was formed as activist tourism campaign group in 1989.
In the early 80s the people of Agonda village in South Goa began their resistance to the construction of a hotel and claimed their land back. EQUATIONS supported research in 1986 to explore the conflicts, the legal contentions on both sides, legal means of supporting peoples struggle, and combating negative impacts of tourism. This legal battle continued for several years and the resort has not been able to construct till date.
A collaborative project with Goa Research Institute for Development (GRID), CAMERA, a communications group based in Bombay and EQUATIONS produced an audiovisual on Goa and Tourism named “Five Star Bubble” (1989-90). A decade later two more films, Host and Hostages 1998, and Goa under Siege 1999, both directed by Gargi Sen of Magic Lantern productions on tourism impacts on Goa used material and perspectives from EQUATIONS. Norman Dantas of Goa Today wrote a paper “The beggaring of Baga (or tourism vs Goans) which focussed on land acquisition for tourism in Baga was published as a monograph. EQUATIONS also had various discussions and collaborations with academicians from Goa and Mumbai Universities on research, consultations and sharing of perspectives, common workshops, and contributing to course material on Tourism courses.
The Goa government like many other state governments have turned to tourism as a vehicle to acquire more investment, income, employment and foreign exchange. It has meant that policy makers turn a blind eye to the fact that the industry is often located in ecologically sensitive areas, unsuited to deal with its impacts, and that economic, social and cultural human rights are being violated. In 2002, EQUATIONS studied the impacts of tourism on two specific coastal stretches in North Goa. Supported by SOMO an organisation researching the impacts of Rally taken out on World Tourism Day, Goa, 2007MNCs, the study aimed at understanding how international trade agreements such as the GATS intersected with the development priorities and possibilities that tourism claimed. The specific stretches in North Goa, were chosen both for the significant rise in tourism that it had seen and the presence of large hotels –both international and domestic chains. The study ‘Weighing the GATS on a development scale – The case for tourism in Goa, India’ raised concerns about environmental, social, economic and cultural impacts, which remain valid even today.
Issues of child abuse in the context of tourism has been on the agenda of many vigilant and dedicated activists and groups in Goa Bailancho Saad, Child Rights Group, Jan Ugahi and Arz. As described in our section on the child and tourism, the case of Freddy Peats in 1991 opened up a can of worms. Consistent and courageous research and advocacy by these groups led to the enactment of the Goa Children’s Act in 2003. This recognised legally for the first time in the country that tourism is a contributor to child exploitation. A subsequent amendment in 2005 diluted some sections of the act. EQUATIONS worked closely with individuals and groups in Goa to research the growing rise of child sexual abuse. We also worked on detailed analysis of the Goa Children’s Act and its Do not destroy Sand Dunes, Rally taken out on World Tourism Day, Goa, 2007 implementation which was widely circulated to a range of stakeholders. Six years after its enactment, only seven cases have come up before different Courts in Goa in relation to sexual exploitation of children by (international) tourists, and only two offenders have been convicted. However it remains a milestone in the battle for the protection of children, and Goa remains the only state in India to have such an act.
The church has been an important player in development issues in Goa. In February 1987 a national workshop on Theology and Tourism was held in Goa, a collaboration with Board of Theological Education Senate of Serampore Theological College and supported by ECTWT in which Indian church leaders, theologians and development activists participated. Many years later, 2006-08, EQUATIONS collaborated with the church in Goa when the Rachol Seminary invited us and Alternatives Goa, to help their students gain critical perspectives in tourism. Post the workshop, Rachol Seminary had their annual seminar and debate on the theme – Tourists - Guests or Pests. EQUATIONS also supported a fact-finding and research study undertaken by the students of the seminary on the activities of Israeli tourists in Goa to understand patterns of Israeli tourist behaviour and the impact on the local people and the economy.
A series of collaborative engagements with the Centre for Social Justice and Peace, (which is linked to the Roman Catholic church in Goa), the Centre for Responsible Tourism and Alternatives Goa on building community awareness on the impacts of tourism – and helping them develop impact indicators at the local level has been ongoing work since 2006. We also supported with independent investigation reports cases filed on behalf of local groups against unauthorised and illegal constructions of hotels. EQUATIONS facilitated a set of workshops with around 30 community members from different coastal villages in South Goa. The purpose was to share and evolve tools towards building local capacity on monitoring tourism on a consistent basis. These organisations have also been involved in supporting the formation of peoples federations of shack owners, taxi drivers, small and medium enterprises , who have in turn worked on formulating peoples policies for tourism – an inspiring example of people centred tourism.
On World Tourism Day in September, 2007, EQUATIONS co-organised a Round Table discussion on the theme – “Do women really benefit from tourism - the Goan experience” along with Alternatives and the Council for Social Justice and Peace. With speakers covering topics such as trafficking of women for tourism, case studies on child abuse in tourism, globalisation, gender and tourism; representation of women in tourism and the testimony of a Save our Beaches, Rally taken out on World Tourism Day, Goa, 2007mother on experiences with tourism – the meeting had a local audience of 45 people and was well covered by the press. It helped convey critical messages on the impacts of tourism on women into the media on World Tourism Day which was being celebrated on the theme of “Tourism opens doors for women”.
Haphazard and unauthorised development since tourism took off in Goa has contributed to the destruction of its coastline in complete disregard of coastal regulation. More than 10 percent of the 105-kilometre (65-mile) coastline was affected already, and climate change adding to this problem, as global warming affects sea levels, the intensity of storms and ocean currents. The rash of SEZs, indiscriminate and destructive mining and the Regional Plan (2011) in Goa ran into controversy when civil society groups and peoples movements vehemently opposed their controversial land use recommendations as "anti-people, anti-Goa and anti-environment". EQUATIONS was requested to analyse the Tourism Master Plan for Goa as this was the basis of the contested Regional Plan. Our analysis was part of the writ petition by Bombay Environment Action Group and Goa Heritage Action Group to the Goa High Court. This is now being replaced by Goa Regional Plan 2021 that promises a more consultative process, recommends decongesting the coastline, emphasises developing of the vast hinterland as a new growth centre, identifies eco-sensitive zones and proposes the creation of a “heritage landscape,” which would be protected by law when it comes to interventions in the name of development. The task force on the Regional Plan 2021 acknowledged that tourism hotspots are reeling under problems of leakage of sewage, water shortages, contaminated groundwater, coastal erosion and congestion from an emphasis on tourism of ‘numbers’ – the endless luring of more and more tourists.
Click on the ‘Resources’ tab above to read Goa related papers, publications and presentations.
Click on the ‘Key Interventions’ tab above to know about Goa related campaigns, events and interventions.