Zubin da Cruz: South District Youth Icon, Goa Assembly Elections, 2017

Zubin da Cruz; PC:Viresh Chari

Being the son of well-known international music maestro Emiliano da Cruz, 24-year-old musician and South Goa district youth icon Zubin da Cruz spurs the people of Goa to practice ethical voting this Assembly elections. “It is a responsibility, yet an honor to be a youth icon. Our country has been struggling for a while, and if I can, in someway, contribute to bring in change, it is my pleasure to serve,” said Zubin.

With an aim to exceed the 83 percent mark of voters registered during the 2012 Assemble elections, the Goa State Electoral Office devised various measures to urge Goa to vote, appointing personalities from various arts and cultural fields like music, sports, theater, etc. 

Currently, the young musician has plans on collaborating with the other youth icons involved in music, to create awareness videos and jingles for ethical voting. “I believe the arts are a medium that everyone can connect to. A painting or a music video could capture an audience much more effectively than long speeches can,” said Zubin.

Being inspired and mentored by his father, Zubin picked up music at a very young age and learnt to play the Mandolin, completed five grades in Violin and is also a self-taught guitarist and vocalist of the well-known Goan band True Blue. The multi-instrumentalist was one of the only four chosen Indian musicians to be part of the World Youth Orchestra in the Sound of the Earth Tour in 2010. The tour held 17 concerts across Europe, including countries like Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy.

Pursuing his Post-graduation in Business studies (in Events), Zubin is a full time musician who plans on merging his event managing skills into his music career. He has composed a number of originals and plans on releasing a full album by next year.

Commenting on the dynamics of this years elections the youth icon said, “I feel that this is one of the few elections that has multiple alluring options, so I’m pretty sure there is a level of confusion in the voter’s mind. I, along with other district icons hope to stimulate a culture of voting with a conscience; To bring to power a party that will clean our system.”

He added, “I was never pressured by my parents to do anything and I apply the same idea to voting as well. Don’t feel pressurized or be negatively influenced to vote. Do it righteously because you want a capable government in power. Goa definitely has so much potential, and believe it or not, we have a big role to play in it.”


Akshada Bandekar- Youth Icon for the 2017 Assembly Elections, Goa


Akshada Bandekar      PC: Ismail Xaque Arman

Being one of the youth icons for ethical voting for the 2017 assembly elections, Akshada Bandekar appeals to Goans to exercise their right to vote through a 30-second music video, ‘Havn Goenkar‘, that bagged over 11 thousand views on Facebook within the first 24 hours of its release.

With Akshada on lead vocals, assisted by Havn Goenkar’s music director Mukesh Ghatwal, videographer Lawrence Fernandes and Assistant Nodal Officer (Media), Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) office and lyricist John Aguiar, the song began to take form. “I guess it’s the catchy tune backing the awareness message that does the trick; It’s just the power of music. And given this prestigious opportunity, it was my moral responsibility to encourage the youth to vote,” said Akshada, 18.
Sharing her excitement on casting her first vote, Akshada said, “I finally get to vote and very uniquely be part of a movement responsible for possibly bringing a good government to power that would help refine society.”

akshada-bandekar-3With the guidance of her parents, Akshada developed the passion and drive to contribute to social awareness from a very young age and it has become part of her identity. At the age of six she co-directed her first fund raising concert for a cause. “My mother read to me news articles about aid and relief provided for the people affected by the 2004 tsunami on the eastern coast. I wondered what I could do to help; and that’s when the idea of the concert struck,” revealed Akshada.

The concert sold out and generated over 50,000 rupees which was sent to the relief camps. Since then, Akshada organised a number of awareness events, expressing a soft corner for society, and was honored by President Pranab Mukherjee, with the National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement in 2014.
“There are endless issues happening around the world that can be spoken of; I believe I will always write about subjects that carry substance to think about; It’s who I am.”
Pursuing a degree in Electronic and Telecommunications Engineering at Goa Engineering College, Ponda, Akshada hopes to use her tech skills to set up a music studio in the future.
However, she believes in focusing on one thing at a time; “I like to keep my options open and try new things; Time will inspire ideas. Who knows what tomorrow will look like!”

To be Successful in Cricket, Fall in Love with The Game: Darshan Misal


Darshan Misal

Goa’s young first-class Ranji Trophy cricketer, Darshan Wagha Misal, has a conviction that no matter who you are or where you come from, passion, coupled with a strong will power, shall reign. Darshan scored his maiden first class century against Saurashtra (106) in 2015. In an interview, Darshan shares his journey as a cricketer in Goa.

Q. What was it like growing up with a dream to become a sportsman?
Darshan: At the age of 13 I decided I wanted to become a cricketer. I enjoyed playing cricket as a kid, and watching India in the finals against Australia in the 2003 world cup inspired me to really take up the sport. Since childhood, my family and I would watch cricket on television and I began playing with my friends. Cricket was the only game that I had maximum exposure to.
My idol cricketer is Yuvraj Singh, as I am a left-hand batsman and bowler just like he is. So I could relate to his style. Besides, I love his aggressive passion on the field.
Q. How was the journey seeing this dream gradually come to life?
Darshan: My father saw my passion for cricket and decided to move from Kalay-Sanguem to Margao city, where cricket programmes were more accessible. I started attending a cricket coaching camp at Fatorda, and my coach, Sandeep Naik liked my style of bowling and batting; so he helped me participate in a few tournaments. I scored 32 runs and took 3 wickets on my very first game and scored my first half century in the next; I believe that’s when I was spotted.
Q. How important was the role of your family to help you make it this far?
Darshan: My family has always motivated me at each and every game, whether I fail or do well. They’ve supported me at various cricket coaching camps.
Although it was sometimes financially difficult for my family so send me to some of the coaching camps outside Goa, we somehow made it work. It was hard staying away from my support system, my family, on my out-state tournaments and camps.
Q. What were the most memorable experiences as a cricketer?
Darshan: It was a cricket match back when I was in school; We were in the semi-finals with a score of 180 runs in 40 overs. The rival team had scored 120 runs in 20 overs for no loss and only needed 60 runs to win, with 20 overs and with 10 wickets in hand; Yet we won the match by 14 runs. We got them all out for 166 runs and I bagged three wickets for my team; it was one of the best game experience.
However, the most memorable moment was when I received an award for good performance by Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the U-16 state tournament at the Goa Cricket Association function in 2008.
Q. What are the challenges one faces as a sportsperson in Goa and how can this be darshan-misal-1improved?
Darshan: I feel there is lack of adequate sports facilities in Goa, so it is often difficult to train in the monsoons or off season. However this could perhaps change if more indoor sports facilities are built and more jobs could be provided in the sports quota like the other states do. Besides, they have also been gradually improving ground conditions.
Q. What is your comment on the state of Indian cricket for young cricketers?
Darshan: Indian cricket has been doing well in all three formats, that is, twenty20, one day and test cricket. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been promoting young cricketers in the Indian team, providing opportunities to every cricketer who has been performing well at the state level. Also, Goa Cricket Association has brought about a change in cricket by starting Goa Professional League (GPL) where all Goan cricketers get the opportunity to play with some of the excellent cricketers outside Goa.
Q. What advice would you give young aspiring cricketers?
Darshan: I would advice them to wholeheartedly focus on what they want to do. Watch some good players playing on television, as there’s always something you can learn even just by watching. To be successful as a sportsperson one needs hard work, dedication, determination and most importantly, to fall in love with the game.

People Yard Creative: Podcast

Hi! Here’s something a little different to get all your creativity sparked up for the day! Grab a sheet of paper and some pencils…You’ll need it! Enjoy! 🙂

Song Credits:

  • Free- Rudimental
  • Pon Pon Pon- Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
  • Boom Boom Boom Boom- VengaBoys


So what’s on about the strays in India?

Mankind has been accompanied by various non-human species since genesis. Today, the most significant of these in India are stray dogs and cattle. They say “the increasing number of strays has become a nuisance in Goa” in recent decades. Probably, you may feel the same often. But can we really expect animals to behave in a socially responsible manner? Are they supposed to learn about population control and develop a civic sense? If so, we’d rather give them full time jobs in offices and have them pay taxes. But obviously that’s not how things work.

Why is the number increasing anyway? 

In India, the local race of strays, known as the Indian pariah dog, has existed for thousands of years. And their number has been ever increasing for various reasons.

  • Firstly, these strays don’t have actual owners or someone to get them sterilized.
  • Secondly, other than kind feeders, garbage is one of the main sources for survival of these animals; large amounts of exposed garbage in our states provide for abundant food. According to Dr. Prashant Naik, a veterinarian at the Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Hospital, Margao, stray animals in the country have been surviving on waste for years, so much so that their bodies have adjusted to this food. “In many cases shifting to a different diet, which would usually be considered as a better diet, could in fact be proven harmful and the animal could possibly collapse within 10 days,” explains Dr. Naik. However, eating garbage does cause various digestive problems and reduce the average life span of the animals. If waste is managed, the situation can be dealt in a much better manner.
  • Thirdly, slum and street-dwellers, even local residents, keep strIMG_1303ay dogs as free-roaming pets and guards. However, not always are these “pets” taken responsibility for. “Dogs inhabit a certain area and are given food waste by locals. Yet when a situation of concern arises the people don’t always take responsibility for the animal,” says Dr. Naik.

“Various Panchayats and animal welfare systems have been allocated funds by the government to manage the animals. But there is a lack in implementation,” reveals Dr. Naik. However, there are various established NGO’s and animal shelters in Goa that try and reach out to these strays. The government has also pitched in with the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1960). But what about us as a community? Well, most of us love puppies! They’re cute! Yet we see so many old strays with collars. “People need to stop and think about what they do. Many adopt puppies and then abandon them when they grow old and become difficult to take care of; its cruel!” says passionate dog lover, Joanna Gomes. While the High court recently permitted to euthanize the serious conditioned local animals, some people don’t fully understand what that means.

The people’s opinion

In a survey conducted by team Inspire; 100 people were asked if they wished strays would be gotten rid of. A majority of the respondents didn’t mind strays and were against their termination. Most of this majority was youth – the mindful generation. However, it seems like a portion of the population isn’t fully aware of the consequences of terminating an animal without the permission of the authorities; it’s illegal. “If you’re bothered by a sick or violent animal, alert the authorities…don’t take matters into your hands,” cries out Mabel Gomes, Assistant Manager at International Animal Rescue Center (IARC), Assagao-Goa. The IARC conduct talks in schools, aiming to educate children and create social awareness.

The HealersIMG_1318

While most people talk about treating animals kindly and giving them some food, some animal lovers take it to a whole new level. The Goan based ‘Healers’ is an open organisation, founded by Crishnaa Verencar, who’s currently pursuing her bachelors degree in Sociology at Chowgule College, Margao.  The initiative sparked in February 2015, when Crishnaa accompanied her mother to the market. “I saw a couple of cows munching on plastic at the market and on the other side the MMC truck was clearing out a huge bin of green waste. It made me think…‘what if the waste switched spots!’And with the support from family and friends the project began,” Crishnaa reveals. The group is mostly funded by Crishnaa’s mother, Madhavi Verencar. But a few months down the year Crishnaa’s college professors have also provided with donations in the form of kind or cash.


Any individual of society can be part of The Healers, to help the organisation flourish and reach out to those in need.The organisation currently handles 5 projects, two of which – Bark with me and Green Munch – focus on the welfare of stray animals. Crishnaa and her team go out and provide biscuits and water to the stray dogs. The members even provide medical help to these dogs by taking them to the Goa Animal Welfare Trust (GAWT) and the Margao Gaushala. Green Munch was the first project of IMG_1277The Healers; the team collects green surplus of vegetables and fruits from the waste-bins and feed the stray cattle every Sunday.“Most of my friends asked me, what’s the use of feeding these cows just once a week? Well, when my mother was younger her father would take her out for dinner every Sunday and rest of the week they’d eat at home. These cows definitely experience some happiness within them even if it’s once a week,” says Crishnaa.

What can we do?

There are various ways in which we as citizens could help the stray animal situation:

  • For starters, don’t bother them! That’s the basic rule.
  • In the case of dogs, one should understand that they are territorial animals so it isn’t advisable to relocate dogs elsewhere if they’ve lived in a particular area for a long time. At the most you can get them sterilized and vaccinated.
  • ADOPT a shelter animal! Also if you can’t take of your dog put it up for adoption.
  • DRIVE SAFE! Rash driving not only threatens strays but also puts fully functional people’s lives in
    danger. The idea is to not differentiate living beings as ‘roadkill’ and ‘loss’.IMG_3674
  • Once you got basic compassion covered you can take it a step further by visiting an animal shelter once in a while and maybe even volunteer with any kind of assistance. You can DONATE food, required equipment, newspapers, money, etc. If not yourself, then you can direct others to a shelter.
  • Call up a local animal rescue if there is an injured or needy stray around the locality. (Be as clear and descriptive as possible when locating the animal concerned.)
  • Feed left-over food to strays instead of contributing to 45 million tonnes of garbage collected in India.

One of the primary things people forget to consider is the fact that not all dogs can handle the Indian climatic conditions. “People bring in breed puppies that require lot of care and maintenance. They are more prone to diseases as they don’t belong to a particular climate. On the other hand the strays manage as they are tougher,” says Mabel.

IMG_3669To Conclude

Just a kind thought or idea can lead to great things. Crishnaa has been invited to speak at colleges and share her ideas and experiences with people on topics like social entrepreneurship, etc. This opportunity further provided her a position in the Global Shapers by Mrs. Tallulah D’silva. She was also invited by Google developers on the occasion of Women Empowerment. So you see, things happen! And there are tons of ways one can help a situation instead of complaining about it. That way we’d all feel like contributors. So here’s to making things a little better.

The Artist- Rosie

Rosie Moulton, a diploma holder in graphic designing, has a brilliant and prophetic hand at art. She is one of the artists at The Little Seed collective, a group of artists and artisans, in Byron Bay. It’s a non-profit organisation which exists entirely for the benefit of the local artist and artisans. “Our aim is to empower artists and create opportunities for them to make a living from their creativity.” The Little Seed had a shop front in the Byron arcade from Dec 2012 – July 2015.

Rosie released a series of signed art prints as a fund raiser for a trip to India, where she attended a Christian youth camp, in November 2013. Once she covered her own expenses she donated all extra profit to the people, she and her team (New Earth Tribe) worked with in India.

Here’s some of Rosie’s beautiful artwork…

Rosie’s art is unique, just like amazing artwork is suppose to be. Here’s why:

  • The most significant characteristic in her art is ‘LIFE’, in the form of trees, birds, the sky and color itself. Her paintings are “alive”.
  • There is so much emotion in her art and so much balance; each color blending in with the other.
  • Another important element in many of Rosie’s paintings is ‘light’…illumination…radiance.
  • Every art piece displays high imagination and creativity at its best.
  • Beautiful examples of derailing from realistic art. Her work is highly genuine, and a mixture of abstract and truth.
  • The paintings are a balance of contrasting bold colors and light graceful tones.
  • One can even see a few pretty designs and patterns amidst the painting.
  • Certain sploshes of color here and there may seem like misfits, but that’s the beauty of the art; each element on the canvas embraces another to gel perfectly.

A brilliant artistic hand originates from a genuine artistic mind.

To view more of Rosie’s art click the icon below.