Kerala

Efforts on to bring fishers to mainstream: Minister

Mercykutty Amma inaugurates KSCADC scheme to distribute free bicycles for girl students belonging to fishing community

The State government will continue its efforts to address the educational backwardness of the fishing community and bring them to mainstream, said Fisheries Minister J. Mercykutty Amma here on Thursday.

She was speaking at the State-level inauguration of Kerala State Coastal Area Development Corporation’s (KSCADC) new initiative that provides free bicycles for girl students belonging to the fishing community.

2,000 beneficiaries

As many as 2,000 girls studying in government schools in eight coastal districts of the State will be the beneficiaries of the project being implemented with financial assistance from Petronet LNG Limited. According to KSCADC officials, fishers in Kerala lack several basic amenities, including proper houses, drinking water, electricity, education and health-care provisions, making them a sidelined community.

Compared to other sections the dropout rate among such students is very high and it is girls who have to face this problem.

Other responsibilities at home and the issues they face while using public transport services force many to drop out of school. Since it is mostly high school girls who drop out, students from Class 7, 8 and 9 will be given bicycles as part of the initiative. Though the project has been launched to encourage girls complete their studies and curb the dropout rates, it also aims to inculcate confidence and independence in them. As part of the project, they will be made aware of road safety norms and the importance to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Moreover, opting for bicycles is expected to bring down the pollution and traffic blocks near schools.

Objective

Another objective of the project is to help students who belong to remote fishing villages with connectivity issues by providing them a safe and cheap mode of transportation. As many as 463 girls from 20 government schools in the district received bicycles as part of the project on Thursday.

M. Mukesh, MLA, presided. Mayor Honey Benjamin, KSCADC managing director P.I. Sheik Pareeth and M. Naushad, MLA, spoke.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 5:44:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/efforts-on-to-bring-fishers-to-mainstream-minister/article30813310.ece

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