KANWAR: A septuagenarian from Goa has written a letter to Portuguese Prime Minister Office regarding Anjediva Island and he got reply from Lisbon recently.
Natividade D’Sa, 77, a resident of Canacona, has been trying to get a nod from the defence ministry to allow devotees to enter Anjediva Island off Uttara Kannada coast during festivities. But for last 15 years no public is allowed by entering the island which is under INS Kadamba Naval Base, Karwar.
Anjediva Island is located in the Arabian Sea off Karwar coast, but it was under Goa government. When the Indian Navy built its base in Karwar, the island handed over to the Navy by Goan government. There is a historical church dedicated to Our Lady of Springs and a chapel St Francis de Assisi in the island where two feasts of the two patrons will be held on February 2 and October 4 every year. But from 2004 no public are being allowed to enter the island due to security reasons.
In this regard, the activist had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging that devotees are prevented from visiting Anjediva Island. Replying to his letter PMO sought details of survey number and other details of the island, but no action has taken yet.
Not satisfied with the assurance, Natividade D’Sa has written a letter to Portuguese Prime Minister Office and he got a reply from Lisbon saying Portuguese PM will study as to how to look into the issue.
Anjediva Island is about 1.5 lakh sqm and it was administered by Portuguese before the liberation of Goa in 1961. After that, the Goan government administered the island till 1990, later it was handed over to Karwar Naval Base.
Natividade D’Sa expressed his happiness for getting a reply from PMO of Portugal. He said the church is the first church in the entire country which kept under dark from last 15 years. At least now onwards devotees should allow entering the island twice in a year for festivities. In the reply from the Portugal PM Natividade D’Sa called as Konkani Mogi (Konkani lover) for which he is very happy.
History of the Anjediva Island
It is said that Vasco da Gama, on his way back to Portugal after visiting Calicut as part of his expedition to India, landed on the island on August 29, 1498. He declared the island as a territory of the Portuguese crown on September 24, 1498. In 1505, a fort and a church were constructed. The church is considered
to be the first one in the Indian subcontinent. Till Goa liberation in 1961, the island was administered by Portuguese and in 1990 Goa state handed over the island to Navy.