Firebrand activist raises hope in Goa

| CLAUDE ALVARES
Published Apr 7, 2014, 7:51 am IST
Updated Jan 10, 2016, 8:38 am IST
AAP candidate from Goa fought off 18 SEZs
AAP Candidate Swati Kerkar
 AAP Candidate Swati Kerkar

Do you know that there was one single person  and that too a very young Goan woman  who played key roles in agitations that got rid of 18 Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in the state in a single day; the agitation against the white elephant airport at Mopa; the Goa Bachao Andolan which revolutionized village level land use planning through the Regional Plan 2021; India Against Corruption, the Goan Farmer’s Union and the Goan Women’s Voice?

Do you know that the same woman was also with the Vasco Khariawada protest against the attempt to displace fisher folk from their traditional locations, and that she also helped organize the women vegetable vendors of Panaji market to form an association and secure their rightful space there?

 

In your mind, you’re going to say, Wow! That’s the effect of Swati Kerkar on people. Ms Kerkar is AAP’s candidate for the south Goa Lok Sabha seat. I am doing the honours because I am convinced she is the country’s political future.

Ms Kerkar sometimes shadows, sometimes overshadows Dattaram Desai’s activism in many ways. Both are jewels in the Goan crown. We Goans can be truly proud that we have come up with these two amazing, blemish free, candidates for the Parliament who have shown that they are capable of changing things.

One cooked Du Pont’s goose. The other knocked  out SEZ.

While the entire country in fact is still trying to get rid of SEZs, imagine conking 18 SEZs in a single day!

At the AAP meeting in Panaji she is ramrod straight. She has not an inch of extra flab. She is spartan in her ways. She doesn’t go abroad (doesn’t have the money). Many of her supporters have pooled in funds to make it possible for her to pay the security deposit which was needed to file her nomination, typical AAM ADMI heritage. She is not seen at socializing parties or fashionable malls.

Ms Kerkar did not ask for the South Goa Lok Sabha ticket. She was simply asked to take the challenge by all the activists, men and women, of South Goa because she represented the best this country can offer as a woman, as a speaker, as an activist, as someone who cares about injustice and simply can’t sleep if she sees it around. She has taken up the cases of a number of young victims of rape and molestation

This deadliness about social injustice issues, this fearlessness against odds she has inherited from Shridhar Kerkar, one of our better known freedom fighters.
 





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