Cyclone Yaas Relief Efforts For Fishers In West Bengal

Dakshinbanga Matsyajibi Forum (DMF) – To raise funds for relief and rehabilitation work in the coastal districts of Purba Medinipur and South 24 Parganas that have seen widespread flooding after Cyclone Yaas

by Dakshinbanga Matsyajibi Forum

About the fundraiser:

The state Fishworkers Union is raising funds for relief and rehabilitation work in order to help restore livelihoods in the medium-term period, close to a month after Cyclone Yaas. The coastal districts of Purba Medinipur and South 24 Parganas have seen widespread flooding, leading to extensive destruction of fishing gear and livelihood spaces (ponds, agrarian lands).

How funds will be utilised:

The funds are targeted to help fishers recover from the losses incurred from the cyclone in the following areas:

  • Repair of boats: Hundreds of boats have been partially or completely damaged.
  • Replacement of nets: Fishers in the region use at least 4-5 gear combinations. These nets have been washed away and replacement for them is not in the current West Bengal government's relief scheme.
  • Stocking fish in pukurs (freshwater ponds): Homestead and small commercial ponds form an integral part of the area's nutritional security. Due to flooding, these have been salinised and are in need of being restored before the monsoon season is over.

Impact on the ground:

Members of the union rely on fishing – both fishing at sea and fish farming, as their main livelihood activities. The funds are meant to complement government relief schemes where sums are inadequate, or provide financial support where relief is unavailable. The fundraiser is aimed at ensuring that hundreds of fishers are able to resume livelihood activities.

Dakshinbanga Matsyajibi Forum

Dakshinbanga Matsyajibi Forum (DMF) was established by eminent leaders of fishworkers’ like Harekrishna Debnath, Nirmalendu Das, Gadadhar Das, Amulya Bar, Gopinath Das, Suklal Das, Shyamal Mondal in the early 1990s to help develop the collective strength of small scale fish workers of the southern part of West Bengal. Registered under the Trade Union Act in 1992 [Regn. No.20474] DMF presently has more than 16,000 members from among fishers, fish farmers, fish vendors, fish sorters and dryers and other ancillary fish workers working in both marine and inland fisheries. The Organisational reach of DMF spreads over nine districts of West Bengal – East Midnapore, West Midnapore, Jhargram, South 24 Parganas, North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly, Nadia and Murshidabad.


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