Goa, the smallest state of India, holds the largest carnival in the country!
The Goa Carnival, more popularly known as Viva Carnival, is the most anticipated event of the state, attracting thousands of tourists yearly. It is known for its flamboyant costumes, extravagant parades, and most importantly, the gigantic floats that parade throughout the cities. People from all over Goa participate in this yearly-themed competition, bringing forth their best floats to describe the theme to a T.
Of all the competitors, Maddar Youth Club from Benaulim are no strangers to victory. They have been the winners of the Club and Institution float competition for the past nine years straight!
TFword talked to Javed Zalegar, the President of Maddar Youth Club, to discuss their successive victories and everything that goes in to prepare for the Goa Carnival.
Click through to view Maddar Youth Club’s floats and their team members. Acquired from Javed Zalegar.
Maddar Youth Club is best known to organize football and volleyball tournaments. When Javed was studying in 11th grade, he and his team – consisting of Shubham, Khaja, Navid, Agnelo, Carlos, Bonny, Arman, Mekenzi, Rashid and more, decided to try their hands to participate in the Goa Carnival. “No one (from Maddar Youth Club) had previously partaken in fine arts. We went door-to-door for sponsors. Back then, people would give us 20-30 rupees (USD 0.27 – 0.40). That is how we started,” recalls Javed, while explaining the hard work they put in to accomplish something untried for Maddar Youth Club.
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They bagged the first prize in Benaulim in their first attempt. Hoping to get better for the next year, they sought out sponsorships from their MLA’s (Member of the Legislative Assembly). “Because of them, we have started doing well. From 2012 till last year, we have won first prize in Madgoan, Panjim, Sawarde, Benaulim – the four places we participate,” said Javed.
Sponsorship alone does not create the outstanding work of art the members of Maddar Youth Club present every year at the Goa Carnival. The members toil rigorously for two to three months for their floats each year. When asked about their secret to winning nine years in a row, Javed exclaimed, “We do something meaningful. We don’t do it for namesake.” In 2020, they diverged from Club and Institution and also participated in the traditional category, only to rise as victors again!
Click through to see all the behind-the-scenes images. Acquired from Javed Zalegar.
Before partaking in the Goa Carnival, the members of the Maddar Youth Club would contribute to the festivities by creating centerpieces and cribs. They won 5-6 times in Benaulim for the same. Thus, starting their participation in the Goa Carnival, Javed reflected.
Their most memorable and spectacular floats, according to Javed, are the Tarzan and Mermaid ones. Measuring around 40 ft. in height, it took them roughly three whole months to create each of these enormous floats. The cost for the Tarzan float, constructed for the ‘Save Goa, Save Wildlife’ theme, came to an estimated INR 2,50,000 (USD 3,321.27). It’s not an easy task. The members all work in separate establishments, some even reside in the UK. But once in a year, the entire collective of Maddar Youth Club join forces to design and produce their floats.
This year, Goa Carnival will begin its festivities from February 26th to March 1st. Maddar Youth Club are once again readying themselves for the carnival. “We are going on with full force. But we cannot tell you what we are making. You will have to watch it at the Carnival itself,” Javed said enthusiastically.
Find Maddar Youth Club on Facebook: HERE
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Feature Image Via Holidify.