ANDHRA PRADESH

Minister asks fishermen to make the best of welfare schemes

Minister for Animal Husbandry Mandali Buddha Prasad (right) takes a close look at a mega phone used to warn fishermen before an impending danger in the sea, at an exhibition held on the sidelines of a training programme organised in Vijayawada on Wednesday. Commissioner for Fisheries Aravind Kumar is also seen. —

Minister for Animal Husbandry Mandali Buddha Prasad (right) takes a close look at a mega phone used to warn fishermen before an impending danger in the sea, at an exhibition held on the sidelines of a training programme organised in Vijayawada on Wednesday. Commissioner for Fisheries Aravind Kumar is also seen. —   | Photo Credit: PHOTO: CH. VIJAYA BHASKAR

Special Correspondent

Government ready to lend a helping hand, says Mandali



Concern over high rate of alcoholism and low literacy levels in the community

NGOs have a role to play in extending relief to fishermen, says Minister



VIJAYAWADA: Minister for Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairy Development Mandali Buddha Prasad on Wednesday exhorted fishermen to utilise the welfare programmes of the Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy Government and get their children educated.

Inaugurating a seminar on ‘Safety at sea’, the Minister said that the State Government was prepared to provide fishermen all that was required to be on the path of progress, but it was up to the community to rise to the occasion and utilise the opportunities.

The Minister expressed concern over the high rate of alcoholism and very low literacy levels in the community. “We can give you what is required immediately, but you have to struggle to build a golden future,” he said. The State Government was ready to pay the fees of students who could get seats in professional courses.

Budgetary support

There was a considerable increase in the allocation of budget for schemes meant for fishermen.

The budgetary allocation for fisheries was never more than Rs. 20 crores, but last year the Congress Government allocated Rs. 100 crores. He said an action plan had been prepared to increase fish production in the State. Andhra Pradesh stood second in the country and the plan was to take it to the first place in the next two years.

The Minister lauded the service of the Sanghamitra Service Society to fisherman community in coastal Andhra and added that NGOs played a very crucial role in extending relief to fishermen after their lives were derailed by natural disasters. The State Government was constructing cyclone shelters that could also be used as multipurpose buildings, at an expenditure of Rs. 7 crores.

The Minister distributed ice-boxes, nets, drying racks, fish mincing machines and other benefits worth Rs. 7.75 lakhs to beneficiaries on the occasion.

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