Devidas Gaonkar is a poet and journalist, and a proud member of the indigenous Velip tribe. He lives in a remote forest reserve not far from the beautiful and touristic beaches of South Goa. Devidas dropped out of school in 2003 because there was no money for education, and of boredom if he had note found film-making, his passion. One…
"Every time a storm lashes the coast, the media, the government and the people talk in terms of 'loss and compensation'," says Community Correspondent Devidas Gaonkar from South Goa. "Mt question is if there was a storm coming in, why were the fisherman not informed in time to prevent the loss. It is a question of 'information'."
Devidas belongs to a tribal community who are indigenous to the forests of South Goa. Progress has been slow and 'information' slower. "I have witnessed and lived the fact that information can make a big difference to our lives," says Devidas. "There are still villages in my region who don't get electricity. They are cut off from the TV. And because they live amidst dense forests, they cannot even receive the radio signals. They are trapped at a bottom of a deep well and have very limited idea of the world outside. A few years ago, I did not know what the internet was or climate change or who the current prime minister was. Today, those villages without information are living the same way."
In today's video, Devidas chronicles the hardships a fishing community goes through because they do not receive weather information. The beach he documented was Palolem which lies at one end of the state's coastline. "The further away you move from the capital at the center, the more neglected you are. Sometimes people living in this part feel that we are living of the wrong side of Goa."