Monday, November 2, 2009

HOUSE OF " PAI TIATRIST " partial collapse.

HOUSE OF " PAI TIATRIST " partial collapse

A part of the rear portion of the over 140 years old “House of Pai Tiatrist “ at Modsai Behind the Holy Spirit Institute Margao collapsed early this cold morning at around 0413 hrs IST (on All Soul’s Day 2nd November) as per information received by this writer early this morning from Ms Ana Maria Carolina Quadros Fernandes, 77 yrs daughter in law of “Pai Tiatrist” late Joao Agostinho Fernandes.

It may be recalled that the Rajya Sabha MP Mr. Shantaram L Naik had last year in July 2008 impressed upon the Goa Government to preserve such old houses of eminent personalities for posterity on the lines of the “Shanti Niketan” of Rabindranath Tagore, at Kolkatta, West Bengal India so that future generations will be inspired by the works of these personalities who rose to great heights under trying circumstances unlike the modern day wherwithal. This could also help in promoting cultural tourism in the State.

The issue also figured at the Ad hoc Committee meet on Budgetary demands 2009-2010 of Govt of Goa held in June 2009.

[Photo insert, courtesy as published on 3/11/2009]

The Government it is learnt has through the Town and Country Planning Department directed them to formulate a scheme for the purpose . While the Department of Tourism could consider to include such houses in the tourist visit itinery There are other houses too which need to be preserved for posterity, viz; the houses of Francisco Luis Gomes, at Navelim Dom Moraes, at Santa Cruz poet Baki Bab Borkar at Borim etc.

Interestingly the renowned architect Mr. Gerard Da Cunha from Torda Alto Porvorim Bardez Goa who has since 17th October, 2008 last year despite his extremely busy schedule had been drawing plans for the restoration of the house and a few structures thereon for the upkeep of the same .
Besides that it could help sustain the income of the inmates viz the daughter –in-law , her daughter, Ms Sharmila Fernandes and their two minor children Sonali and Sanil Fernandes through self employment.

Indeed their contribution towards maintaining the cultural heritage of our land by preserving this House has been appreciated by several persons and especially NRI's who have visited their humble home since 20th July 2008 when the indoor auditorium of Ravindra Bhavan was named after "Pai Tiatrist"

According to Ms Ana Maria Carolina Quadros Fernandes ( the wife of tiatrist Antonelio (Tony ) Conceicao Fernandes –son of Pai Tiatrist ) who spoke to this writer stated that she and her daughter despite their financial constraints have boldly shooed away prospective realtors who were eyeing the 449 m2 property, as they stand determined to honour both in letter and spirit the intention of late Joao Agostinho Fernandes (14.12.1871 to 29.08.1947 ) and his spouse Regina Fernandes ( 16.11.1880 – 20.12.1908 ) who was the first lady to ever act on stage on 22.11.1904 at a time when women making public appearances was taboo. Incidentally it was only much later that Kamalabhai Gokhale in the late 1930;s who came forth to don the honours on stage.

Mr Da Cunha Arch recently on 27th October, 2009 schedule, visited the site to give the final touches to the restoration plan. The part which collapsed today is otherwise in the restoration plan intended to be demolished according to Mr Da Cunha who spoke to this writer , today when informed of the mishap. However the inherent fear of the inmates that this may make the house vulnerable to theft and a fear that the main part of the house too may eventually collapse owing to the vagaries of the climate is indeed cause for their concern.

Ms Sharmila Fernandes, infact reported the matter telephonically to Mr. Shantaram L Naik RS MP with the hope that efforts be expedited to set in motion restoration of the same and expressed her bonafide fears to him of imminent disaster.

No sooner the news of the part collapse of this House reached the electronic and print media they converged at the site and examined the extent of damage to the same apparently to impress upon the Goa Government to step in at the earliest.

Mr Shantaram L Naik MP Rajya Sabha alongwith this writer visited the House this evening at 1730 hrs to assess the damage. He expressed concern and promised to move the Government to render immediate assistance to ensure the restoration promptly. He perused the draft plan for restoration of the House and requested the members of the family to get the restoration estimates be worked out so that he could set the ball rolling as he will be proceeding to New Delhi tommorrow for the forthcoming month long winter session of Parliament.

Both Ms Ana Fernandes and her daughter Ms Sharmila were indeed pleased by the response and sympathy invoked by the media and the voluntary visit of the Hon;ble MP Mr Shantaram Naik and had a word of praise for both for their efforts to redress their unfortunate plight.

A large section of the tiatrist also conveyed their concern to the family telephonically and assured them whatever help in their noble cause towards tiatr and tiatrist. Other visitors also visited the House to express solidarity with them in the matter.

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Related News:
Mr. Shantaram Naik M.P. will give a fresh proposal to the Department of Archives and Archeology, to carry out the restoration and repair works of the house of Late Shri Joao Agostinho Fernandes popularly known as Pai Tiatrist, situated at Modsai, Borda, Margao.

Mr. Naik who visited house of Pai Tiatrist, this evening, after hearing the news that one of the walls of the house had collapsed, said in a statement issued today that he has decided to submit the proposal to the government afresh with a plan which the family has got drawn from a private architect.

Mr. Naik said that he had sent his proposal earlier to the Chief Minister on 02nd September 2008, however since no concrete steps were taken in that regard, he has now decided to submit the proposal afresh with a plan drawn to make the government task easier.

Mr Naik said he has spoken to the Chief Minister Shri Digamber Kamat and the Director of Archives and Archeology Shri Manohar Dicholkar, in this regard.

Mr. Naik said that late Shri Fernandes wrote about 26 tiatrs (Konkani dramas) out of which, 16 were staged. Many scripts of the tiatrist written by Shri Fernandes have been handed over to Goa Konkani Akademy, which are required to be preserved using modern microfilming and or digital technology.

Mr. Naik said the house of Pai Tiratrist which is standing on a plot of 400 sq/mts, and which occupies about 200 sq/mts, is a house with mud walls and it has to be repaired and restored to honour the great artist. Mr Naik said by restoring such houses, the government will be doing a great service to those who have devoted their entire life for a particular art.

During his visit to the house, Mr. Naik met the daughter in law of Shri Fernandes, Mrs. Ana Maria Carolina Quadros Fernandes and, daughter Mrs. Sharmila Fernandes, and Social Activist, Shri Godfrey Gonsalves.

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