Sagar Parikrama is a testament to the transformative power of visionary leadership for welfare of fishing community and coastal development. It is an initiative taken by Government of India, with an aim to resolve the issues of the fishers, other stakeholders and facilitate their economic upliftment through various fisheries’ schemes and programs being implemented by the Government of India such as Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) and Kisan Credit Card for Fisheries (KCC).
The Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Government of India, and National Fisheries Development Board along with the Department of Fisheries, Government of Kerala, Government of Puducherry (Union Territory), Government of Lakshadweep (Union Territory), Indian Coast Guard and fishermen representatives is observing the Sagar Parikrama Phase VII which started from today, Madakkara, Kerala and will be proceeding towards coastal regions are like Pallikkara, Bekal, Kanhangadu, Kasaragode, Mahe (Puducherry), Beypore, Chaliyam, Kozhikode, Mattancherry (Kochi), Nattika (Thrissur), Ernakulam, Kvaratti Island, Bangaram, Agatti Island (Lakshadweep).
Shri Parshottam Rupala, Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Dr L. Murugan, Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Shri Saji Cheriyan, Minister of Fisheries, Government of Kerala, MP, Kasaragode, Shri Raj Mohan Unnithan, MLA, Kasaragode, Shri N.A Nellikkunnu, President of District Panchayat, Kasaragode, Smt Baby Balakrishnan etc. in the presence of Smt. Suvarna Chandrapparagari, Chief Executive, National Fisheries Development Board grace the occasion of Sagar Parikrama Yatra Phase-VII.
Sagar Parikrama is a program reflecting the far-reaching policy and strategy of the Government leading to the direct interaction with fishers and fish farmers and other stakeholders to understand the issues of coastal areas and problems related to fishermen. Sagar Parikrama program during Phase I to Phase VI have brought massive changes in the development strategy of fishermen and have given a deep insight into the understanding the problems of fishermen. Certainly, Sagar Parikrama Phase VII program commenced by Shri Saji Cheriyan, Minister of Fisheries, Government of Kerala, Dr. Suvarna Chandrapparagari, Chief Executive, National Fisheries Development Board, and other dignitaries at Madakkara fishing harbour. Dr Suvarna Chandrapparagari, CE, NFDB informed about the projects sanctioned such as upgradation of fishing harbour centre and received various applications from beneficiaries to strengthen the fisheries ecosystem. Dignitaries have also visited Mussle Culture site at Pallikara.
Shri Saji Cheriyan, Minister of Fisheries, Smt. Suvarna Chandrapparagari, Chief Executive, National Fisheries Development Board, and other dignitaries interacted with beneficiaries such as fish farmers, fishermen at various locations such as Madakkara, Pallikkara Fishermen Colony. Many beneficiaries shared their ground level experiences and highlighted their issues like replenishment of brackish water, insurance related issues as well as subjects as well as appraised for the tremendous contribution that KCC and PMMSY scheme has brought in the life of fishermen and fishing community. Further team have also interacted with beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) at Kanhangadu and requested the beneficiaries to come forward and use the benefits of the schemes like PMMSY and KCC for fish farmers and for allied activities. Volunteers have been requested to help in creating awareness of the schemes like PMMSY, KCC so that the beneficiaries can take benefit of the same.
The journey continued at Kasaragode, Shri Parshottam Rupala, Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Dr L. Murugan, Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Shri Saji Cheriyan, Minister of Fisheries other dignitaries visited Kasaragode Town Hall. The Sagar Parikrama Phase VII program inaugurated by lighting the lamp followed by the prayer. The “Sagar Parikrama” song in regional language “Malyalam” was also inaugurated. A welcome speech was given by Smt. Suvarna Chandrapparagari, Chief Executive, National Fisheries Development Board at the beginning and acknowledged the presence of our esteemed guests, speakers, beneficiaries (fishermen, fisherwomen, fish farmers) and other stakeholders who have graciously joined us today. Shri Saji Cheriyan, Minister of Fisheries extended heartful gratitude to all the guests and participants present at the event.
Shri Parshottam Rupala, Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying recognizes the critical role of fish farmers in meeting the growing demand, also recognizes the invaluable contributions of our fishermen and fish farmers who tirelessly work to provide us with a vital source of food and sustenance. He informed that due to high demand of fishermen from all over the country to support them in improving their livelihood, Prime Minister established a separate department of fisheries and since 1950 to 2014, the investment in fisheries sector was of around Rs 3,681 Cr, starting from 2014 government introduced the schemes such as PMMSY, FIDF and others with budget of approx. Rs. 32,000 Cr. of total investment has been made for the development of fisheries sector by understanding the ground realities.
Further, he felicitated the beneficiaries like fishermen, fish farmers and other stakeholders with sanction of Kisan Credit Card for fisheries (KCC) etc. The KCC camps were organized at various locations such as districts of Thrissur, Ernakulam etc. During the camp the application pertaining to KCC cards were distributed to the fishermen and supported them to fill the forms with the help of Sagar Mitras. Following are the beneficiaries felicitated with KCC at Kasargod i) Udayan K, ii) Indira M, iii) Jose Joseph, iv) Prasad Kongott, v) Rugmini K V, vi) Pradeep kumar K V, vii) Renuka C V, viii) Sidhique B, ix) Mohammed Saleem, x) Aravindan M K, xi) Madhoosudhanan, xii) Agesh, xiii) Sushanth, xiv) Surendran.
The following dignitaries also participated in the event i) Shri Parshottam Rupala, Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, ii) Dr L.Murugan, Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, iii) Shri Saji Cheriyan, Minister of Fisheries, iv) MP, Kasaragode, Shri Raj Mohan Unnithan, v) MLA, Kasaragode, Shri N.A Nellikkunnu, vi) President of District Panchayat, Kasaragode, Smt Baby Balakrishnan, vii) Smt. Suvarna Chandrapparagari, Chief Executive, National Fisheries Development Board xiii) Senior officials of Department of Fisheries, Government of India, ix) Senior officials from Indian Coast Guard, Fishery Survey of India and fishermen representatives.
Moving forward, Dr. L Murugan, Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying & Information and Broadcasting shared his views about improving the quality of life and economic well-being of people in rural areas on creation of livelihood opportunities by adopting holistic approach to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and thanked Shri Parshottam Rupala for listening out the issues of beneficiaries, fishermen, fish farmers etc. He highlighted on the announcement made by Government in 2019 about setting up of separate Department of fisheries for which was immediately approved by Prime Minister.
Smt. Sreelu N.S, Additional Director, Department of Fisheries, Government of Kerala, gave vote of thanks to all dignitaries and other participants for their presence. In all around approx. 5,000 fishermen, various fisheries stakeholders, scholars attended physically the Sagar Parikrama Phase VII program from different places of which approx. 2000 fisherwomen participated, and the program were live streamed on various social media platforms such as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.
Sagar Parikrama Yatra will be empowering coastal communities and fishermen by disseminating information on fisheries related schemes/programs implemented by government, showcasing the best practices, promoting responsible fisheries, and demonstrating solidarity with all fisher folks and concerned stakeholders.