Andhra Pradesh

Migrant fishermen return safely

Some of the fishermen returning to their villages in Visakhapatnam district on Monday.

Some of the fishermen returning to their villages in Visakhapatnam district on Monday.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

They were detained at Palamaner checkpost in Chittoor district

Mylapali Rama Rao, 46, jumped into frenzied dance of joy and jubilation when he reached his home in S. Rayavaram Manral in Visakhapatnam district on Monday evening.

He along with nearly 1,300 fishermen reached their hamlets in 48 buses arranged by the State government after they fled Mangalore in Karnataka as soon as a nationwide lockdown was clamped to control COVID-19. They were detained at Palamaner checkpost in Chittoor district on March 28. After medical checkup, food and shelter the district administration there sent them in buses on the directions of the government on humanitarian grounds.

They go every year on contract for fishing to Karnataka and other States. Agents engaged by mechanised boats take them with the promise of paying around ₹10,000 to ₹12,000 per month. They leave in August and return in April before the annual fishing ban.

“We are very happy that all of them returned safely. They will be under quarantine at colleges and schools for 14 days,” Joint Director of Fisheries K. Phaniprakash told The Hindu.

The breakup of fishermen who reached their home as follows: Nellore 676, Prakasham 263, Guntur 18, East Godavari 1, Visakhapatnam 113, Vizianagaram 8 and Srikakulam 31. Twenty-four fishermen from neighbouring Odisha who left Chitoor in a separate bus along with others will be reaching their homes in the early hours of Tuesday.

“While profusely thanking Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy for the timely action, we want that in future fishermen should be allowed to go to Gujarat and other States on migration through inter-State agreements,” Arjili Dasu, chief executive of AP Fisherfolk Foundation, said.

A large number of fishermen from Srikakulam are also stuck at Veraval in Gujarat due to imposition of lockdown.

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Printable version | Jul 16, 2020 10:55:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/migrant-fishermen-return-safely/article31211714.ece

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