By now it’s clear that the country-wide lockdown in India has had disproportionate effects on our society. One such community, marginalized from the mainstream is the fisher community. Both fishermen and fish vendors (who are often women) depend on the daily income made from catching and selling fish to support their families. With low pre-lockdown sales and the lockdown preventing fishing during the peak fishing season, these communities are in urgent need of help. Migrant daily wage labourers from fisher communities, who have been working outside their home states as crew on boats, their dependent family members as well as small scale fishers, women fish vendors and daily wage labourers within these communities are the most adversely affected.
These individuals are facing a spectrum of issues.
- loss of income
- inability to support their families due to insufficient cash reserves,
- minimal access to healthcare,
- shortage of basic necessities like water and food
- exclusion from many government relief schemes.
As the lockdown extends, it becomes imperative that we address the plight of India’s fishing community during these difficult times. These communities provided much needed food to local markets and their physical and mental health is key to their areas recovering quickly post the lockdown.
Who will we help and how?
- Small scale fishers have been heavily hit by the country-wide lockdown, and are in need of food and health supplies.
- We have identified fisher families across the states of Odisha and Tamil Nadu who have been left out of existing distribution systems due to various reasons such as lack of adequate documentation
- 3,300 of these will receive a kit that contains food rations and health supplies (medicines, masks, soaps, sanitary products etc) for a month
- The cost of each kit is approximately Rs.3000/-
- Along with our NGO partners in these sites, we will ensure responsible distribution of these kits, while following social distancing norms
Dakshin Foundation is a not-for-profit, charitable, non-governmental organisation committed to environmental preservation and social justice. Dakshin, since its inception has engaged with local and grassroots organizations and fisher unions to secure natural ecosystems and rights of communities along India’s coastline. Over the years, we have built strong ties and long-term working relationships with local organisations across our field sites, such as in Odisha and Tamil Nadu.
Given the current crises in these locations, Dakshin Foundation along with its long-term partner NGOs—United Artists Association (UAA) in Odisha and SNEHA in Tamil Nadu, has been assessing needs of community members during the lockdown.
Based on this assessment we have set a target of INR 1,00,00,000 /- for this first phase of crowdfunding, which will be used to procure and distribute the kits to 3300 of the fisher families identified through the surveys.
As we continue to liaise with the fisher community, we appeal to YOU to support the most vulnerable of India’s 10 million fishers.
Note: COVID Advisory information, in English and other coastal languages is available on Dakshin's website.
If you have any questions or wish to donate directly to Dakshin, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org