Tamil Nadu

Irulas in Tiruvallur get boats, nets, bicycles

For 24 families that were unable to afford to rent a boat for a day for fishing, the grant of four mechanised boats costing ₹1.6 lakh came as a blessing.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with Tractors and Farm Equipment (TAFE) on Saturday gave away 269 fishing nets, 269 bicycles and four boats at a total cost of ₹26.5 lakh to members of the Irula community living in Manellur, Edakandigai, Ellarmedu, Kamaraj Nagar and Pondhavakkam in Gummidipoondi taluk of Tiruvallur district at a simple function near here.

Kumar, tribal leader, Pulicat, said that usually six families would rent a boat from fishermen and whether they get any catch or not, they would have to cough up ₹300 a day as rent.

“Irula fishermen and women, who do not have boats wade into hip-deep water and catch fish using their hands. They are forced to walk a distance of 12 km every day from and to the Pulicat lake. The bicycles would be of immense help to them and they would be able to return on time to the fish market,” he said.

Sub-Collector V.P. Thandapani said the district had close to 5,000 Irulas and many of them were living in very backward conditions. “The State government is doing all it can to help them. But we need industries to provide them jobs as income from agricultural activities and fishing is not permanent,” he said.

S. Eisenhower, chairman, CII-CSR sub-committee, said the CII had helped residents during the 2015 floods and this initiative was part of it. Youngsters who had passed class 10 and were above the age of 18 and without job could approach the CII for a four-year stipend programme with member industries.

Tiruvallur Superintendent of Police E.T. Samsun; TAFE director P.B. Sampath; CII Chennai Zonal Council chairman M. Ponnuswami spoke on the occasion.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 2:14:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/irulas-in-tiruvallur-get-boats-nets-bicycles/article17368888.ece

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