Goa

Panaji: Divar Island - a melting pot for technology, culturally conscious Goans


Rupesh Samant

Panaji, May 16: The island of Divar near Panaji has become a melting point for the tech savvy young generation and the culturally conscious Goan elders, who are taking up the full-blown challenge to connect nature, heritage with technology this summer vacation.

While technology has been considered alien to the culture and heritage, especially when it comes to young generation, a group of citizens under the aegis of NGO ‘Uzwaad’ (Light) has been organizing various events to bring youngster closer to environment at picturesque Island Divar.

“We are teenagers with the knowledge about our culture, heritage and nature. We chose Divar as a place because these things are in abundance here. But while doing so, the children are not forced to go away from the gadgets or technology,” said Maurius Fernandes, known for his vast knowledge on Goa’s culture and heritage.

Fernandes has been hosting several festivals dedicated to the basic culture of Goa since last 17 years.

At Divar Island, which is a home for Fernandes, he held a festival of and for children where they were introduced to the games of our bygone era.

“We also had Mango Festival during which we will train the children on how to graft the tree, plant it and also take care of it. What Mangoes we are enjoying now were planted by our forefathers, so now it is our responsibility to grow trees for next generations,” he said.

In order to ensure that the children don’t find themselves out of place, Fernandes said that the festivals encourage use of mobile Apps which can be used to identify the plants or heritage or culture.

IT Professional Sangeeta Naik, who has been associated with the project, said that in the present day materialistic lifestyle and cut throat competition based education system the concept of being connected to nature, heritage and culture seems to have taken a back seat.

“If this disconnection from ones roots is not stopped now it will be detrimental to our society in the long run. Technology can definitely be an effective tool in helping GenNext build a strong bond with their surroundings including nature, culture and heritage,” she said.

“Children should be encouraged by teachers as well as parents to search for online resources related to the flora and fauna, history, customs and traditions etc of their locality so that they can relate to them and also take pride in them. Also students should be involved in projects that involve documenting information related to a particular village or locality,” she said.

This will help in creating value added, authentic online resources which the whole world can refer to. Simple and free to use social media tools such as Facebook, YouTube Channels, and Blogs can be used by students with the help of teachers to document information, she added.

Renowned Heritage conservationist Prajal Sakhardande said that the younger generation is interested in art, culture and heritage and we should be able to provide them the knowledge, which they are seeking.

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