What is heritage?
Our legacy and what we consider of value from the basket of what we have inherited from our past and our peers. Sounds like too broad a definition? Try this: Anything that is of historic, architectural, archaeological, aesthetic value or of value because it is part of a group of things that are of value or is part of a whole of value. This thing could be either tangible or intangible. Buildings, monuments, houses, streets and street furniture, streetscapes and roofscapes are tangible pieces of our heritage. Folk arts, crafts, music, dance, customs, traditions, songs and rituals are the intangibles.
What is your link with the Old GMC building in Panaji?
Few people know that the Old GMC building in Panaji was to be torn down in favour of a high rise parking lot! It is our Group that intervened and convinced the Government of Goa to turn the building around. It was repaired after that and is currently being used as the headquarters of the Entertainment Society of Goa and the annual International Film Festival of India is held in the old building each year.
Any tips on how to repair my Goan heritage house?
The thumb rule is to stick to the original materials used for building the house in the first place. If you find these hard to get then use material that closest to the original. The golden rule is to keep it simple. The silver rule is to live in the house and use every corner as much as possible. And the solid iron rule is to make a plan for the end use for the house before you begin repairs. Use white wash (chunam) for the walls so you can refresh every year, remove all excess woodwork to avoid termite attack and reuse the wood in the house. For example, if there are too many doors and windows remove them and use them as table tops and benches. Termite treatment is an absolute must. Walk on the floors to bring out the patina. Replace damaged floors with terracotta tiles now available in Ponda, polish these with coconut oil and lay them unevenly so they look like they are part of the old flooring. At all times, fill the house with love, laughter and lots of friends. If you are adding rooms they must be in harmony with the rest of the house. If you are buying furniture, it must match the age and personality of the house.
Do you offer free consultancy for house repairs?
Yes, provided transport charges and other sundries are covered.
Do you have a list of houses on sale inGoa?
No. We don’t do any commercial or real estate work.
Do you have archival material on houses ofGoa?
Yes, we have lists of heritage houses in Panaji, Taleigao, Ribander, Mapusa, Guirim, Assagao, Parra, Margao, Raia, Vasco and some coastal villages in north and south Goa. These lists have photographs, a description, a value or attribute, and a location or address.
Do you know people in Goa who can help us find a house to rent/buy?
No, we do not maintain a list of brokers or real estate agents for heritage houses in Goa.
Do you know any houses that we can go to for study/documentation/measured drawings?
Yes, we could help you make contact provided you give us a written legally binding undertaking that you will share the documentation with the house owners once the studies are done.
Do you have a list of resource persons inGoafor architects/culinary experts/historians/designers/experts on dress and costume?
Yes, we maintain lists of resource persons such as architects, historians, experts on dress and costume, food experts, heritage home owners, artisans and craftspeople, artists in Goa. You can get a copy of the list you want from our office or on e mail.
How can I become a member?
You can fill the membership form online or print it out and mail it to us at 29-30 Green Valley, Alto Porvorim Goa 403521. All completed forms must have two references from amongst our Executive Committee.
What can I do to help?
You can speak to your friends about saving our heritage.
You can organise educational events in your school/college or neighbourhood and invite someone from GHAG to come and speak
You can help out when we have an event such as a film show or a talk or a festival
You can enrol more members into the Group
You can prepare presentations that can be taken to schools/ government offices/colleges and groups of teachers and peers to orient them on heritage
You can convince your institution to include heritage protection as part of its agenda
How do I support the cause?
You can make a donation
You can give us ideas
You can help out with events and programmes
You can bring in donations or help us earn through projects
You can bring in projects that fit into our three broad focus windows: awareness, conservation, regulations for protection
How do I donate? Will I get tax exemption if I donate?
Yes, all our donors get a tax exemption under Section 80-G of the Income Tax Act. Our office will process the donation in not more than ten minutes.
How do I participate?
Our Executive Committee meets on the last Friday of every month. Any member can come for these meetings. Become a member and take part in the discussions, observations, decisions, actions and responses. Share your views and your thoughts. Fall in step with what we are doing or march to your own drum and have your own following.