Sunday, 24 January 2016

Goan Feni Is Now A 'Heritage Spirit'

DraftCraft's year old campaign starting December 2014 to promote Goa's hidden treasures through its Goa Chapter through campaigns that include the controversial resumption of mining in the state, promotion of a 30,000-year-old petroglyphs at Usgalimal, projection of heritage zones like Fontainhas and the popularisation of quaint and fragile Goan Feni that risks extinction finally gets vindicated as the Goa government decides to promote Feni as a Heritage Drink.

On 24 January 2016, Goa's Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said Feni has a lot of useful qualities, especially its medicinal value due to which it can be used to cure a number of ailments, while speaking as chief guest at the first stakeholders’ meet for the development of Feni organised by department of excise in collaboration with The Goa Cashew Feni Distillers and Bottlers Association and All Goa Toddy Tappers Association at Taleigao.

“We have missed the bus in promoting Feni to outsiders and cashing in on its popularity with tourists. Both coconut and cashew Feni are not mere liquors and the cashew and coconut trees are part of our culture,” he added.

So, we could expect nature tourism to receive a fillip in the state which will soon have tourists dropping in to see cashew plucking and the process of making Feni. Mr. Parsekar seems to be leaving no stone unturned to promote Feni as an intrinsic part of Goa's culture.

Steps in the production of Feni - A Walk-Through!

Step 1 - Cashew fruit being loaded in a motor crusher for crushing

Step 2 - Cashew fruit pulp being collected for juicing

Step 3 - Cashew fruit pulp being squeezed in a mechanical juicer

Step 4 - Juice from cashew pulp being collected

Step 5 - Cashew fruit juice being stored in barrels for fermentation for 8 days

Step 6 - Fermented cashew fruit juice being transferred into pots for distillation

Step 7 - Fermented juice being brought to a boil in earthen pots

Step 8 - The vapours pass through pipes submerged in water tanks for cooling

Step 9 - Once cooled, the vapours condense into a distillate collected at the other end

Step 10 - The first distillate is called Urrack which is then added to fermented cashew juice in the subsequent rounds to form Feni

Thursday, 13 August 2015

DraftCraft endeavours to take Mahatma Gandhi’s simple yet powerful talisman on ‘change’ forward by ‘Being The Change’. The movement initiated by DraftCraft aims to fetch a change first in the mind-set and attitude of the common man by providing the right platform and requisite tools and, concurrently, at the grass-root itself.

Every passing day, scores of issues bother us: Shopkeepers demand prices higher than printed MRP; The affluent bully and bribe authorities to concede to unlawful demands; The authorities insist on cumbersome paperwork to meet requirement for legal basics; The administration misuses discretionary powers to beyond legal limits; Doctors literally loot patients by forcing unsafe and unnecessary procedures that risk lives and cost a fortune; Women face abuse in public and within the safe confines of their home and more. These and more affect the public on a regular basis and, worse still, are ignored daily. The media, official and social, continue to curse ‘the law’ and ‘the system’ on their part. Fact is: We refuse to take charge or responsibility for our situation and neither have the inclination nor intent to address issues.

Here is where ‘Being The Change’ comes in: To educate and empower people to fight for their own cause and rights.

The Indian Constitution guarantees fundamental rights to its citizens, right from the Right to Life to the Freedoms that include those of Expression, Movement, Speech and the Right to Religion. A ‘Freedom’ means nothing if you can’t avail it without fear and a ‘Right’ loses meaning if, in the process, you trample upon someone else’s ‘Right’. ‘Being The Change’ aims to educate the citizen of ‘Freedom’ and sensitise him of the ‘limits’ of his ‘Rights’ while, at the same time, underline the ‘legal limits’ of ‘discretionary powers’ of authority and need for administrative entities to steer clear of ‘arbitrary action’.

How can you join in ‘Being The Change’?
To be a part of this movement all you need is the intent to see a change by being that change. The movement calls out to everyone to join and pool in their collective resources. Students, youth, children, elderly, men and women.

‘Being The Change’ focuses on the youth by giving them a platform to interact and initiate discussion on amending the law, the system and public mind-set. Through its networks - DraftCraft Volunteer Network, DraftCraft Law Network, DraftCraft Media Network, DraftCraft Social Work Network and DraftCraft Travel Network – ‘Being The Change’ movement aims to bring together students, professionals, academicians and institutions of law, media, social work and various other streams to discuss prevalent issues and dynamic solutions to constantly evolving needs. By way of qualifications, all you need is: The Will. Your academic qualifications are indicative of your inclination and not the only deciding factor. Drop in an email complete with contact details, Skype us, or call us on 08080441593 to join in.

The elderly are a trove of knowledge, experience and advice. Unfortunately, they are ignored by their family, the youth, society and the state machinery alike. DraftCraft’s ‘Sun Suna’ campaign aims to draw upon this wealth of knowledge throughHear-A-Tale sessions where the elderly share their stories and experiences to inspire and motivate the youth in ‘Being the Change’.

At the other end of the spectrum, are the underprivileged homeless young living on the streets who cannot read and write and are deprived of the joys of having a story read out to them by an educated parent. A story can go a long way in shaping young minds. Even the most innocuous fairy tale, a jungle story or an inspiring anecdote has a moral at the end. The 'Sun Suna' campaign reaches out to these children through ‘Tell-A-Tale’ sessions where 'DraftCraft Didis' read out interesting and inspiring stories to these children. Come…join!

If you feel you've got a flair for poetry or prose, send in your bit to us and get published on our 'The Write Change' venture. It could be a piece of prose or poetry, a lengthier essay, a short story or a serious commentary on an issue in the news. The only qualification here should be that your creative work should involve 'change' in some way or the other. It could call for a change in life or in a sad state of affairs or, simply, a change in mood. If you get lucky, you could be called for an internship with DraftCraft where your skills could be honed for a career in the media.