Youth from fishermen families recruited as home guards

Increased efforts are being made for the augmentation of coastal security in Nellore district in view of the presence of vital installations such as the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) at Sriharikota, special economic zones, power projects and a major port at Krishnapatnam.

As a strategic move, young men from the local fishermen’s families were recruited as home guards for the marine police stations in the coastal stretch.

Training

About 20 candidates have been taken so far and they have been given rigorous training in swimming, boating, sea navigation and other aspects for over two months.

After testing their endurance at sea, they will be asked to join duties which include sea patrolling up to 12 nautical miles. It is the mandate of the Coast Guard to patrol the sea between 12 nautical miles to 25 nautical miles.

At a coordination meeting on coastal security held at the Umesh Chandra hall here on Saturday, Nellore district superintendent of police B.V. Ramana Kumar said that fishermen’s families were chosen for selecting the coastal security home guards considering their upbringing in habitations nearer to the coast.

Moreover, fishing in motor boats has proved to be a wasteful exercise for most of the fishermen these days. If four members go in a boat, they are able to make just Rs. 40,000 per year, which means Rs. 10,000 per head.

Mr. Ramana Kumar said that the young men selected from these villages now earn Rs. 72,000 per year per head after their appointment as home guards.

“We are trying for some more allowance for them as their duty involves risk. They are being taught to go to sea by country boats also,” he added. The coastal security home guards will have a major role to play in coastal areas in times of natural calamities.

They will also play a crucial role in checking illegal movement of fishermen from Sri Lanka. A mechanism is put in place to check with the Sri Lankan authorities whether such fishermen came here accidentally or have any criminal background.