The fisherman from Dakshina Kannada demanded a national fishing policy to remove disparities that exist between individual states, with due representation for the community in elected bodies.
Addressing the media, Karnataka State Fishermen Congress President U R Sabhapathy said the fishermen planned to hold a massive convention on November 19 at Kumta in Uttara Kannada to coincide with erstwhile prime minister late Indira Gandhi’s birthday. A parallel convention of Congress workers will be held in Chikkamagalur that day and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to take part in both, he added.
Each state has its own fishing policy and has a minister in-charge but there are differences between the fishing communities which result in friction. A national fishing policy is the need of the hour, said Sabhapathy who mooted the idea of an exclusive cabinet post for Ministry of Fisheries in the union cabinet. The fishing industry is neglected because it is merged with agricultural ministry, he rued.
Fishing is not caste based but profession based, yet very few people occupy positions of power. The demand to include all fishing communities under scheduled caste has failed after the central government rejected a recent resolution. Fresh efforts will be made to push forward the long pending demand that existed from the days when H D Devegowda was prime minister, Sabhapathy announced.
Quoting President Ramanath Kovind’s rise in the ranks hailing from fishing community, Sabahapathy said, that became possible only because some fishing communities were classified among scheduled tribes in North India.
Deepak Shriyan Boloor has been elected the district president for the Dakshina Kannada Fishermen’s Congress and in similar lines block committees will be set up in atleast 10 districts, Sabhapathy announced.
Minister Pramodh Madhwaraj and former minister Baburao Chinchasnur are special invitees for the state level committee, he said.