Monday, January 26, 2009

Goan kudds in Mumbai under severe threat

Goan kudds or Goan clubs as they are fondly known among Goans in Mumbai are under a severe threat of being wiped out.

Goan kudds or clubs have been existent in Mumbai since over 150 years and have been like transit homes or even temporary rest houses for lakhs of Goans over the years and hold a special place in a Goan's heart in Mumbai.

With a history of over 150 years these clubs have represented cities, villages and even wards of Goa in Mumbai, Calcutta, Pune, Ahmedabad, Karachi and even East Africa.

These kudds are currently under threat mainly due to managerial mismanagement and real estate peculiarities which have thrust these nostagic temporary residences of Goans into a fight for survival.

This has thankfully led to the birth of the "Federation of Goan Clubs in Mumbai" whose core member MR Thomas Sequeira landed in Goa to meet villagers in North and South Goa at Navelim and Mapusa respectively to hammer out a solution to the vexed issue.

Several kudds being in Old buildings have been taken over by the Maharashtra housing and Repair Board Administration (MHADA) for repairs and the kudd inhabitants have no powers over their properties due to the fact that the ownership of kudds is unclear on account of missing documentation which endangers the heritage of Goan kudds in the metro.

Kudds being unregistered and premises being rented in the names of individuals who failed to change tenancy records leading to refusal from landlords to transfer tenancy rights have put the kudds in a tight spot. Some kudd managers also played treachery by conniving with landlords to give up the rights for a paltry sum.

The members of the kudds have already had meetings in Mumbai at Jer mahal in Dhobitalao to find a solution and are now planning to codify the rules and register the clubs as charitable trusts under the Societies registration Act 1860 with the Office of the Charity Commissioner Bombay.

It is documented that Portuguese missionaries and later Goan priests are said to have started the migration in the 16th and 17th centuries to places outside Goa to form Kudds. It was also the British presence in the 18th century and their preference for Goans( owing to Goans western dress, food,  social customs etc) which is believed to have spurred the migration of Goans out of Goa.

This seems to be a wake up call for all Goans and villagers within Goa to register their clubs and protect their valuable;e property in Mumbai.

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