Don`t turn Goa into Thailand: Women

Panaji: A women`s collective in Goa Wednesday criticized the state government for turning Goa into a Thailand, a global sex tourism destination. It also said the depiction of women in Bollywood film "Dum Maaro Dum" (DMD) was symptomatic of what was happening in the state.

Addressing a press conference, Goenchea Ostoreancho Awaz (GOA, or Voice of Goan Women) said that the Congress-led state government was responsible for the situation where films like DMD were made.

"The movie was a symptom of a much deeper rot being propagated by the government. If it were to act against the drug mafia, Goa would not have had such a reputation. We don`t want Goa to be promoted as Thailand," GOA convenor Swati Kerkar said.

The group has also taken offense to the tourism department`s promos picturing women in bikinis on beaches.

"The dialogues in this film are like wounds in our hearts. When they speak of women in Goa, it includes all women. We urge the state-level committee (formed to vet the movie) to have a look at the movie and ban it if found outrageous," Kerkar said.

"Wherever we go outside Goa, people look at us as if we roam about on the beaches wearing bikinis. Even in the markets within Goa, people directly ask us, whether we are prostitutes or where are prostitutes available. Not only us, but even senior ladies face this problem," a member Loretti Pinto said.

The group also asked the government to proactively work to change the state`s reputation.

"The government is not doing anything about this. This is a tragedy of our beautiful state. There is so much you can promote, the history the culture, the beaches, the hills. Why do we have to promote rave parties, drugs and prostitution? That is available all over the world, not only in Goa," Judith Almeida from Verna said.

While the group stopped short of asking for a ban on DMD -- saying they`ve not seen the movie yet -- they have promised to monitor movies in the future as well as keep tabs on agencies offering escort services.

"We will wait for the committee to take a decision on the movie, before deciding our future course of action," Kerkar said.

"In the future, we will also confront newspaper managements on publishing of advertisements of these escort services, as well as the agencies," she added.


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