For the first time, fishermen community would get livelihood during the period of ban on fishing activity all along the sea coast, thanks to works being extended for fishermen under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
The fishermen used to face financial difficulties due to lack of income during the ban period which came into force from April 15. It will continue up to June 14 all along 192-km sea coast stretch in the district.
Although the ban would help fishermen community in the long run, they would not get any income during the period. The government sanctions Rs.4, 000 per fishermen as financial assistance but it does not help them make their both ends meet.
The Fisheries Department, which observed their difficulties, brought the issue to the notice of Srikakulam Collector P. Lakshmi Narasimham. He directed the Srikakulam District Water Management Agency (DWAMA) to provide works under NREGA programme. The officials earlier observed that many fishermen were sending their children to Gujarat to earn livelihood as they were not able to earn sufficient income.
Their condition was pathetic during the ban period. It made the officials to implement NREGA programme although the land is not suitable to take up works in the sea coast area.
The fishermen will take up plantation works near sea coast area.
The trees help them to minimise the impact of cyclone at the villages located near sea coast area. Each worker gets up to Rs.140 per day under the scheme.
Assistant Director of Fisheries M.A. Yakub Bhasha said that NREGA scheme would protect the fishermen from financial distress during the ban period.
According to him, the department collects details of all the fishermen from April 19 to pay Rs.4,000 as financial assistance for each person. The fishermen have to submit Aadhar number and details of their boat. Six members for each can avail the financial support from the government.
“We will impose fine up to Rs.2,500 for each motor boat if anybody takes up fishing activity during the ban period. The department will also seize their boats if they continue to flout norms,” he added.
Fisherfolk to take up various works under the scheme during the ban period