I came in touch with Lovely Vijayto Menezes during my frequent visits to St. Estevam since last year. A tall, well built young man, Lovely has many things to teach to our Goan youngsters.
Lovely is born and brought up in St. Estevam from where at least one member from every home is abroad, either on ship or in Gulf or UK, toiling hard day and night to make his family back home prosperous. Lovely too had a choice to move abroad, with lots of friends and family members already abroad or on board to provide a helping hand. But he made a choice to stay put in his own village, not only to earn his bread and butter but also to seek prosperity in his native land.
Instead of boarding a ship or catching a flight, Lovely took a plunge into the uncertain waters of enterpreunership in the field of tourism. He got ready a boat of his own, and started his “hinterland tour ” along Mandovi, the boat safari starting from St. Estevam and culminating at Khandepar many kilometres upstream, across Amona, Volvoi, Savoi Verem and other shore villages.
The journey attracts scores of tourists who want to know more of Goa, more than the run of the mill beach belt and Old Goa Churches. The biodiversity, the peaceful mangroves, the birds humming around, the baby crocodiles basking in the sun and the still, calm waters of Mandovi.
Definitely at the end of every tour, each tourist comes to know more of Goa, a Goa unrepresented in the guide books and tourism department pamphlets, but known to people like Lovely from St. Estevam like the back of their hand.
Today, Goa is more than ever in need of more and more young entrepreneurs like Lovely, who reject the idea of leaving Goa for a better life and better not only their life, but those of others as well while staying put in Goa, by making them a part of his crew and providing them as well a job opportunity.
Long live Lovely, long live Lovely’s boat rides and long live the spirit of dynamic enterpreneurship.