The Netted Story

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Their days start around afternoon …a sail to the sea.

Nets fishes …Makes a Night out …comes back to the shore around 3 in the morning….unload… sleeps ..refuel….Fixes the nets…put in ice for next round…. Sets sail again the next Afternoon or only during high tide considering the dock. 1 month of day in day out in the sea…Each trawler has around 10-20 people on board…They eat together stay together brunch together as a family…Every day they go never sure of coming back…Deep sea trawlers …

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Lets talk about West Bengal and the fishermen here. With 2 districts having a costal border The East Medinipur bordering Orissa and BOB , the plights are glaring and sad. Although the demand for fish is high in WB most of it is imported from AP and little is done to improve the conditions of the local fisher men or the infrastructure. The most used docks for fish dump by trawlers in East medinipur are Shoula,Petuaghat and the biggest of all the Digha Mohona.

IMG_7672 (Large)IMG_7683 (Large)Shoula a dock built in 1970’s ,the infrastructure last updated some 20 yes ago has around 100 trawlers as their base.The trawlers are cramped of space ,one needs to pass several trawlers to reach land,refueling and ice refill is tough…A small fish Market does exist but not major transactions are seen here.

IMG_7723 (Large)IMG_7725 (Large) IMG_7724 (Large)IMG_7726 (Large)Digha Mohona is the largest of all and has the biggest fish market of west Bengal where fresh fishes are transacted every early morning.The Dock has silted away much of its depth and now trawlers find it tough to dump and refill bcz of little infrastructural support…
IMG_7953 (Large) IMG_7990 (Large)Petuaghat was ordered to  build around 2011 and started being functional last year .All these years there were a lot of  unionism and was active with criminals and bloodshed all to gain the people power to ice supply to the trawlers.Petuaghath has its own Ice factory and allotted space for a fish market(bidding place).As most of the traders have ease of communication to Digha,petuaghat is not favoured for transactions.Thus after unload of the fishes,they are transported to digha on vans /trucks for bidding to take place. Petuaghat has ease of infrastructure for easy working of the trawlers after docking.

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The ease of business is hindered on and functioning is distributed and cumbersome for the trawlers. Neither existing functionalities nor the life of the fishermen have upgraded in all these years.There is a life insurance present for accidental death of 1 Lac rupees and 50 and 25 thousand for disruptive injuries.The fishermen cry that if the body is not found even that amount is not paid.The saddest part, most of them are unaware about the schemes Govts provide and thus loose out on a great deal.If not them, the businessmen should be more aware of labor policies and work with govt to uplift a strata of people .

It’s the duty of the Govt to keep the last man updated about facilities and help them avail the benefits other wise the percolation effect of Govt Structure doesn’t leave enough for the last in the chain.Administration is important to upgrade the lives of the unavailed…

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