In the 70’s and 80’s our Goa witnessed student agitations on various issues but the one that swept Goa by a fiery storm was that 1979 campaign for 50% bus concession. The student unity being rock solid, the agitation spread like wildfire, lasted a brief 12 days and secured the desired results.
It was that sturdy desire and firm resolve that students should get 50% bus concession that fuelled the unstoppable action. The then powerful bus owner’s lobby was being fully supported by the Government so we felt we were in for a long haul. However the agitation swiftly spread from Pernem to Canacona and the entire State was brought to a grinding halt. Within 12 days the Government came down on its knees and conceded to our demand.
Despite pressures from various politicians and the very potent bus owner’s lobby, the then Acting Chief Secretary the late Dr J.C. Almeida was very sympathetic with the rightful demand of the students. He was very accessible to the students and spent a lot of time speaking to them and had the spine to tell the Government what was right. In the death of Dr. J.C. Almeida on 28th November 2017 we lost a great Goan, a very distinguished administrator and a dear friend of the student community.
As a student it was 50% bus concession and now that I have the same rightful privilege as a Senior citizen but only limited to travel on Kadamba Transport Corporation buses which wherever possible is used as mode of travel to exercise my lawful right.