Announcing that the ghumat will soon be declared as the heritage instrument of Goa, minister for art and culture, Govind Gaude said that most of the work has been processed to declare ghumat with a relevant membrane as the state instrument. He was speaking at the release of a special cover on ghumat at the concluding function of the three-day GOAPEX 2019, Goa Philatelic exhibition at Institute Menezes Braganza, Panaji.
He further said that stamps and ghumat have been an integral part of his life, and helped him achieve success in his career. “Back then where there were no telephones or any mode of communication it was letters which we used to convey messages and that is whenstamps would come to our rescue,” said Gaude.
The guest of honour and heritage promoter, Sanjeev Sardesai narrated how the ghumat is an asset to Goa’s heritage. “The instrument is made from the membrane of the monitor lizard which is a protected species. However there are attempts made in order to revive it with a relevant membrane. The instrument has been there in Goa since the very beginning and it has its own history. It is used for all occasions and functions,” said Sardesai.
He put forth certain historical facts about stamps and said that he was amazed to see the first ever stamp made, at the exhibition of GOAPEX 2019. To the students present at the function he said: “Be like the stamps and travel around the world.”
Folk artiste, Kanta Gaude who has gained fame for playing the ghumat with his troop at various places also spoke on the occasion. He said: “The folk instrument of my land was given to us by our elders. I am happy to see that it will gain the attention of the world as the stamps will travel to different parts of the world. This instrument on the stamp has been with me for the past 45 years.”
He shared his experience of playing with artistes from different corners of the world. “When we would go to perform at various occasions it was wonderful to see how the percussion instrument blended well with other instruments. Moreover there was communal harmony that it spread through its beats,” added Kante.
Post master general, Goa region, Vinod Kumar was happy to see the hall packed with students and senior citizens for the event: “It was good to see a lot of participation, both, from students and veterans. There were around 55 philatelists, both senior and junior and 11 schools that participated. We tried to revive the different aspects of Goan heritage. During the last three days we focused on the Olive Ridley Turtle, forts of Goa, and now on the ghumat.”
He called upon people to debate about the symbols of Goan culture and said that in the coming years, the department of postal stamps will make an effort to bring such symbols to the fore. A souvenir with clippings and information about the exhibition and the event was also released on the occasion.