With the social standard of living of fishermen still not showing any advancement, Kerala has come out with various welfare programmes in an attempt to empower the fisherfolk and strengthen their livelihood.
The State government has envisaged such programmes as it thinks that increasing fish production alone will not bring in the socio development of the fishing community. Despite several welfare and development programmes, the social standard of living of the fishermen has not shown any remarkable progress, officials said.
The social mobilisation programme that has been brought out now aims at creating awareness among the fishing community on strengthening their livelihood activities, promoting welfare schemes among the fisherfolk, creating awareness about health and insurance.
As part of reaching out to the fishing community about the various programmes and welfare activities, the government proposes to hold about 100 awareness campaigns across the fishing villages. The fishfolk would be made aware of the various welfare programmes, sea safety, marketing and post harvest operations. The people would also be able to know more about bank loans, imparting education to the children and even impact of drugs. The campaign will also give prominence to educate the people about the importance of resource conservation and the perils o juvenile fishing.
Focusing on the health aspect, the government proposes to hold medical camps across the fishing villages. With the people in the fishing villages prone to occupational health issues, the medical camps would focus on specialised areas such as dental, skin, paediatrics, gynaecology. With out of pocket expenditure in the health sector increasing and the fisherfolk often having difficulty in getting better treatment, the comprehensive health insurance programme – Rashtriya Swasthiya Bima Yogana – would be made available for more fishermen.
The officials said that the social mobilisation initiative would help in creating a larger awareness among the fishing community and refine them for a better living.
As part of the Social Mobilisation programme, there are proposals to prepare documentaries, films and magic shows so as to uplift each of the fisherfolk.