Wonder Women

When Love for Your Native Motivates You to Keep its Beauty Intact ~ A Restoration Expert Shares Her Story

Ezra Pound says,

“A real building is one on which the eye can light and stay lit.”

In our #FridayFeature blog focusing on the #WonderWomen segment, we present a woman who believes in keeping the beauty of homes and buildings intact. Meet Restoration Expert & Founder of Martins Group LLP, Devika Martins. Hailing from the land which is known for its heritage structures, Goa (in India), Devika is actively creating awareness to save parts of the Goan Architectural Heritage through her own company which she started in 2016. What motivated Devika to venture into this tough, yet exciting field and how does she manage to overcome the many challenges she comes across everyday while doing this job? Let’s find out in her own words.

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“Having grown up in the city of Goa, I was always fascinated with age-old structures. The Goan architecture and heritage was, is and will always be something I take immense pride in.

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Taking up interior designing seemed like the ideal professional route for me owing to my fascination with buildings. I studied in Florence, Italy and amassed more knowledge in the field further through a master’s degree in Interior Design and even courses in Restoration, Mortar (lime plaster) and furniture restoration.

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I also have a bachelor’s in business administration so my basics about handling business and administration matters were fine-tuned too.

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Having covered the qualification base, I ventured into the professional field and worked In Italy and Dubai for around 2.5 years. With international exposure in the education and professional fields of interior designing, I then decided it was time to come back to Goa and start my company. The goal was to keep the beautiful structural heritage of Goa intact. So, with that in mind, Martins Group LLP came into being.

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The struggle with my field of work is making people understand its importance and relevance. I try hard to inform people when restoring a property how best it can be done. Most times cement can’t be used on the structure, for the simple reason that cement doesn’t marry lime plaster (if the structure is LP of course) and will crack sooner or later. Meaning, cement and lime plaster don’t fit well, and tend to crack if used. Cement is a short fix for the structure and it will weaken in no time. 

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For laymen, this concept is hard to grasp. Also, lime is a lost art that’s getting ignored in a state like Goa. I’m trying to create some awareness to save parts of our Goan Architectural Heritage through my work.

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What motivates me to do what I do, is intense love for my state of Goa. And I’m looking to restore as much as I can. In my quest to further awareness about this, I was inspired to start a Podcast too! In fact, we have just shot our first episode and it’ll be out next week.

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Under this podcast titled ‘Coversations’, I hunt down and meet like-minded people who are doing interesting work and have settled in Goa, thereby making a difference in our community. This way we can all solidify our efforts in restoring and maintaining the charm of our native place.

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What keeps me going are the words said to me by my dear friend Wendell Rodricks, “Leave a legacy by doing work for your state, it’s something for generations to follow.”

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The plan is to continue the restoration work under Martins Group LLP and make more and more people aware about it through the podcast.

My biggest learning has been that

“It is only after travelling the world that you will learn to love and appreciate your native place.”

and I strongly believe,

“Developing a new world without disturbing the old charm is the only way to keep the history and heritage of a place alive”

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To drop in a message to Devika, check out her restoration work and follow her podcasts about Goan community and architecture, follow the links below:

Devika was featured and interviewed by CCR TV’s Basil D’cunha. Her work was also featured in Sunday Midday. You can have a look at these interview and feature through links below

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