First Mormugao woman councillor Maria Josepha DSouza feted
Maria Josepha D'Souza, who was the first woman councilllor of Mormugao municipal council was felicitated on the occasion of her 75th birthday at a function organised by the Vasco Citizens Committee at Vasco.
VASCO: Maria Josepha D'Souza, who was the first woman councilllor of Mormugao municipal council was felicitated on the occasion of her 75th birthday at a function organised by the Vasco Citizens Committee at Vasco.
Maria Josepha was elected as councillor of Mormugao municipal council in 1970 when the council consisted of 15 councillors. She is the elder sister of former Revenue Minister and NCP State president Jose Philip D'Souza.
On the occasion, Benaulim NCP legislator Churchill Alemao was the chief guest and felicitated Maria Josepha in the presence of large number of prominent citizens from Mormugao taluka and the D'Souza family members.
Speaking on the occasion, Churchill lauded Maria Josepha for showing the way towards woman empowerment in 1972. He said that besides being a politician, she worked as a staff nurse and a nursing tutor at the Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMC), Bambolim, which was also a noble job taking care of sick patients. He further said that all should emulate Maria Josepha's work towards women empowerment
Jose Philip recalled that it was their elder sister Maria Josepha who sowed the seeds of social service in the family and also took nursing as her profession. He said that it was their sister who started the political journey for the D'Souza family, and gave her credit for his victory in the municipal elections and also in Goa Assembly elections when he won from Vasco constituency twice in 1999 and 2007.
D'Souza family is representing the Kharewado ward for last many years with his elder brother Pascoal representing it for the last two terms. Jose Philip's wife Nanny was also the Mormugao councillor from 2010-2015.
Jose Philip also recalled that their father was against a woman plunging into politics when the family was a traditional fishing community. But the people from the ward came together and approached my father to allow Maria Josepha to contest the elections as the ward was reserved for women candidates. He said that his sister won the municipal elections but did not show her interest in chairpersonship and also did not contest the next elections because the father was upset and she did not want to disappoint him further.
Mormugao councillor Pascoal D'Souza, Clemente D'Souza, GMC associate professor Dr Jude Rodrigues, Dr Maria Rodrigues, Dr S N Surmi, Bharati Surmi, Mafaldo Fernandes and others were present.
Earlier, Vasco Citizens Committee president Dr S N Surmi welcomed the gathering.