Margao Municipal Councillor Vitorino Tavares of ward 10 has raised questions as to why Ravindra Bhavan was opened for shooting for Maharashtra based shows and performers while the premises were shut for local performances such as Tiatrs and Nataks. The councillor from Fatorda questioned why COVID-19 protocols applied only to locals, and Goans were not even permitted entry into Ravindra Bhavan.
As a tiatr artist himself, Tavares said “I too would have loved to perform here, but by restricting Goans from entry in the name of COVID-19, and allowing outsiders, the government and the authorities have once again proven beyond all doubt that they are anti-Goan.”
Tavares pointed out that “it has been one week since Ravindra Bhavan was declared a COVID-19 testing centre, but because of the shooting, the people have not been able to get their RT-PCR tests done.” Tavares pressed, “why is the government saying one thing and doing something else, and how does it plan to solve the issue of rising cases if it doesn’t allow tests to be conducted properly?”
Earlier, Fatorda MLA Vijai Sardesai had ordered an immediate shut down of Ravindra Bhavan in the midst of a shooting, as the artists and crew were maskless and not maintaining social distancing norms within the premises. Sardesai, along with MMC councillors hit out against the organisers and the government for granting permission for shooting, which potentially increased cases in the area.
Vijai said “this government is so careless; even as Goemkars suffer, the CM is only adding fuel to the fire.”
Vitorino Tavares urged all Goan artists to unite and come together during these difficult times to help Goans who are suffering. He said, “now is not the time to have entertainment programmes and film shootings; Goa is going through a difficult period. “In Fatorda we want to keep our people safe, and we want to support our local artists. We don’t want outsiders to come and misuse our premises for the sake of profit.” He said.
Tavares highlighted that under the leadership of Goa Forward Party President Vijai Sardesai, he and the Fatorda councillors are determined to support local talent and raise awareness for Goan art forms when the time is right. Tavares said “we want our children to develop and share our talent. We are a talented group of people and we will do all we can to support them. We hope this situation would settle soon, so that we can go back to our true, cultural, Goemkar ways.”