(Please note: This is my weekly column that was published in The Goan on Saturday)
Earlier this month, I happened to meet a college friend after almost three years. We were planning to meet since the last one year, but it wouldn’t happen. Finally, we met and drowned all the Mumbai-chaos in cold coffee on a hot Sunday evening, and began chatting about Goa. One segment of our conversation was about us, and ‘us’ being Goan girls in Mumbai. We do find a lot of Goan guys too, but Goan girls are here with a strong intention — to achieve something, to stay a notch higher than their competitors and to live an independent life.
The big question that arises here is why can’t Goa retain talent? It’s quite common to note that Goan boys complete their education and join the hotel industry. Quite a number of women follow the same trend. The shipping industry is quite fond of us or it could be the other way round. But that’s not the point. The point is why does precious talent always move to cities such as Delhi and Mumbai? Is it just better opportunities or is there something more to this migration?
When I came to Mumbai, it was clear that I wanted to achieve something. In Goa, I couldn’t. The state didn’t offer a journalism course at that time. It was the usual Arts, Commerce, Science and other vocational courses, not forgetting Hotel Management and Catering. Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Computer Application were the newest course introduced in Goa, but it wasn’t leading me to the media industry.
After I completed my degree in Bachelor of Mass Media in Mumbai, I returned to Goa hoping that some media house would hire me. Well, I did get through several interviews, but pay packages were poor. The state still seems to be a poor pay master. This friend of mine faced similar issues. After two years of experience working in marketing, she applied to some companies in Goa. She got through, but the company was not willing to pay more than Rs 8000 and in Mumbai, she earned Rs 25000 per month. Why would anyone take up a job at such a pay cut? On this note, she packed her bags and came back to this city.
A chat with another friend revealed her thoughts on the same subject. According to her Goa kind of mollycoddles you – it’s all about home and family and familiar places and people. You can’t do much sans people finding out. You can’t join a job without realising your colleagues know you some way or the other, which is awful because you are then compared to family members or people from your college etc. And Mumbai does not invade your privacy. This city provides just the right amount of anonymity and space.
After gathering all this experience and learning to live an independent life, we girls would like to come back home and do something positive for the state, but this is possible only if Goa starts to create better opportunities. We can do much better if girls are trusted with the jobs entrusted to them.