CANACONA: After waiting for response over repeated pleas to the various government authorities, a committee formed to restart the celebrations of feasts at Goa’s Anjediva Island appeal to the Naval Authorities at Karwar is met with same fate, as one more year has passed-by without celebration of Feast of our Lady of Springs at the Nossa Senhora das Brotas Church at Anjediva.
Incidently, the locally appointed committee has personally submitted a representation signed by over 500 devotees who wants to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Springs at Anjediva Church on 2nd Febraury. This representation too met with the same silence and no response came till late Wednesday (1st Feb) evening, even as the devotees were eagerly waiting to make necessary preparations for celebrating the annual traditional feast on the Island of Anjediva after a gap of exactly 22 years.
Considering its (Island’s) strategic location, Anjediva island having 3,38, 375 sqm of land (situated in the Arabian sea off neighboring Karwar coast, and has two religious ancient structures-A Church and a Chapel) which was part of Goa’s revenue village of Loliem is gifted by the Government of Goa to the Indian Navy for its prestigious ‘Seabird’ Naval project.
Though the island had no inhabitants particularly a few years after Goa’s liberation in 1961,Catholic community of Goa and Karwar (Karnataka State) has been regularly celebrating two feasts of the patron saints of the Church (Nossa Senhora das Brotas on 2nd February and Chapel (St. Francis de Assisi on October 4) every year and have kept the tradition alive until the Naval authorities after initially allowing the devotees twice a year on the island, suddenly in the year 2004 stopped civilians (devotees) entry citing national security concerns.
Since, then devotees running from pilar to post are requesting and approaching every political and government (executive) authorities to allow the devotees to observe the two traditional feasts celebrated every year with great devotion and faith.
The Devotees Committee besides representing to the Commander Sea Bird Naval Base, Binga, Karwar, also wrote to Dy. Commissioner of Uttar Kannada, Karwar MLA Satish Sail, Governorof Goa, Goa Chief Minister, Goa Speaker and Chief Secretary of Goa State with the pleas to take up the matter on very urgent basis and allow the devotees to celebrate mass on feast day of Our Lady of Springs (every year 2nd Feb’2024) and St. Francis of Assis (Every year on 4th Oct).
The committee has suggested to formulate Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) with necessary Security Protocol considering security issues if any for devotes to attend religious celebration on feast day. Also suggested to invite Religious Heads to meet the Indian Navy Officials to discuss the Fine Print about the conduct of religious ceremony on feast day and according formulate the security protocol.
Also, suggested to conduct structural audit of the Church of Our Lady of Springs and the Chapel of St. Francis de Assisi, carry out the required structural repairs without changing the architecture by using the appropriate material for the repair and invite relevant authorities including the ASI to conduct a detailed survey to protect these religious heritage sites.
Incidentally, both these heritage sites were renovated by ASI by spending lakhs of money a few years back.