Empowering women through activity groups

An amount of Rs.41 lakh will be disbursed through activity groups as part of the second phase of Matsyafed's interest-free loan scheme for fisherwomen.

As many as 410 fisherwomen will get Rs.10,000 each at a function here on Friday. The scheme aims at empowering womenfolk in fishermen families by organising them through five-member activity groups.

Fisherwomen involved in selling fish had been given Rs.5000 each. The loan amount was distributed in instalments of Rs.100 a week. The scheme had been implemented in nine coastal districts except Malappuram. Matsyafed District Manager K. Vanaja informed here on Thursday that 1,142 fisherwomen had been distributed Rs.57.10 lakh in the first phase. Those beneficiaries who had repaid the loan amount was now being given Rs.10,000 each in the second phase.

The second phase was also meant to encourage the beneficiaries to repay their loans. Matsyafed Chairman V.V. Saseendran would inaugurate the loan disbursement programme at the Fisheries Complex at Mappila Bay here at 3 p.m. on July 9. Ms. Vanaja said Matsyafed's activities for offering financial assistance under the Tsunami Emergency Assistance Programme fisherwomen and Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana units in the district for setting up fish kiosks and purchasing vehicles for were progressing.

As part of the State government's decision to write off debts of

fishworkers, 1,431 beneficiaries in the district who had taken loans from the Matsyafed or co-operative banks till March 31, 2009 would have their loan arrears written off. The total amount the beneficiaries were being relieved from paying was Rs.4.12 crore. Other welfare schemes being launched by Matsyafed included the minimum wage scheme that ensured Rs.120 for men and Rs.100 for women on days with no catch, an accident insurance scheme, subsidies for purchasing fishing equipment and micro-finance facilities, she said.

As much as Rs.10.17 crore had been so far disbursed by Matsyafed in the district under various welfare schemes. As many as 1,076 fishing groups comprising 3,621 fishworkers and 381 self-help groups comprising 4,854 members were operating under Matsyafed, Ms. Vanaja said.

  • Rs.4.12-crore debt to be written off
  • Minimum wage scheme to be launched