GAOTHAN VOICE – Jan 2021 – East Indian Punch


Making East Indians Popular as Natives of the City

It’s been more than a century since we took upon the name East Indian Community but the citizens are not fully aware about our Indigenous connect as Children of the soil. There is an urgent need to increase the awareness about our community through multiple initiatives. MGP has taken upon itself to join hands will like-minded community associations and activists to do the best we can to create this awareness. This will be a 5 to 10 year plan with a year on year review on the progress of initiatives and the up-coming year’s action plan will be finalised accordingly. The first Year plan has been finalised after informing and taking inputs from MGP Advisors

RESTORE – We have seen multiple projects and initiatives driven to Restoration and this is a welcome change. Around a year ago MGP even changed the name of the Gaothan Beautification Project to Gaothan Restoration Project(GRP). Here we plan to Restore
whatever we can to bring back memories of our Gaothans and its past. The Gaothan Restoration will be managed by a team of hardcore Gaothan residents who want to give our areas the ideal Gaothan Look. The GRP will restore wells for Umbrachapani, design special benches and street lights, include an entrance arch with a history board and lots more

REVIVE – Making our Community specialty well known amongst other communities is the target. Our Community will be requested to make these East Indian Specialty by its inclusion at all Village Festivals, Gaothan events, cultural Celebrations, Religious practices and house functions. Gaothan specialty would be Rekla, Ghumat, Chatir and much more to give a direct connect and make them synonymous with our community. All local associations and activists need to ensure they are always included. A data bank of these is being worked upon for our Business Network as well as our Culture Guide project

TRADITION – Customs, Beliefs and way of doing things in the past should never be forgotten. Tradition plays an important role in defining our roots and we can never forget our roots. The Lugra has become a trend at all our weddings and celebrations and has
paved a way for traditions to make a come back. Customs and Beliefs are being documented thorough our book project, Reetiñ Reevaaj which will also release episodes in video format on our YouTube channel. Appealing to our community to follow these customs and beliefs will then be the immediate agenda.

GAOTHANS – In our City, you talk of the Gaothans and immediately there is an East Indian Connect. Multiple meetings with politicians and authorities have ensured that the Gaothans are not erased but instead specially included in the City’s future plans with the approval of the indigenous people, the East Indian Community. The Gaothans and its special inclusions like the Holy Cross and Heritage Houses should not be touched as they give the perfect look for the community settlement. Promotion of Gaothans with local festivals and events will place them prominently on the City maps. A special awareness drive will be launched to restore Holy Crosses and not renovate them.

HISTORY – Past records of East Indian Community will be publicised to ensure the History of our community and its rich culture is not forgotten. Special information and highlights of Kaka Baptista will be promoted through various media forums. Some projects have
already been dedicated to Kaka Baptista and we plan to dedicate many more to our community freedom fighter. Historical facts about our community will be documented and promoted on various mediums to enlighten all about our rich culture and roots. Mapping
history of each Gaothan and it’s specialty in the yesteryears will be published as a reference for all citizens.

HERITAGE – The Churches are a clear testimony of our Heritage and existence. As always the Archdiocese will be requested not to renovate but instead restore all heritage Churches. The Church foundation and it’s connect to the local Native East Indian Community will be documented for the reference of future generations. Every historical structure or statue in religious premises should be maintained and restored. A Religious Structure dedicated to our Native Saint Gonsalo Garcia to be built to honour the indigenous connect of the Saint and his historical importance to Maharashtra State and India.

FOOD – The real taste of the East Indians is from its vast varieties of food and cuisine. In recent times we have seen a few hotels and we should have many more. The over the counter fast food stalls selling East Indian food needs to be promoted even if it’s a take away
concept. Our Community Food specialty can create wonders and we need to do our best to ensure its presence and popularity. The variety of preservatives like our Masalas and Pickles need to be promoted and nice to see many such initiatives in this direction. The East Indian Bottle Masala should be made Internationally well known to our talented home chefs and entrepreneurs.

MUSIC – East Indian Music is unique and can be taken to greater heights if all in the music community come together. Some recent initiatives online have been encouraging but there is much more we can do. The Ghumat should be in every East Indian household and it’s presence at every Celebration should be ensured. Music releases should be targeted not only for the listening pleasure of the community but the larger audience too. The Music experts should be roped in to create this unique quality thereby creating East Indian Music lovers in India and Internationally too. Our East Indian Bands should also work towards appreciation from a larger audience through their talent and expertise. The list of action points to fulfil this objective of making East Indian Community well known maybe endless but the time has come to act on this. We at MGP plan to review all these plans and do our very best to take our community to greater heights. We need your support and every hand counts. Join Us and Together Lets Make This Happen.

Gleason Barretto, Old Kurla

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