Bhubaneswar, Oct 8:
Bimal Kumar Mishra, Managing Director of National Federation of Fishermen’s Cooperatives Limited (FISHCOPFED), on Tuesday called upon all stakeholders to come forward to strengthen the cooperative movement in the fisheries sector.
He was speaking at a workshop on social security for fishermen here.
Since fishermen’s profession is highly risky and accident prone, they need social and financial security to improve the quality of their life, Mishra said.
Stressing on the need for a mass based cooperative movement, Mishra said cooperatives can ensure an effective marketing network and solve the marketing problem faced by fishermen at present. It will, he said, a go a long way in checking the exploitation of fisherman.
Distributing cheques to kin of 12 deceased fishermen covered under FISHCOPFED’s Group Accident Insurance Scheme (GAIC), Mishra said insurance alone is not enough; there is need to focus on scientific fishing and model marketing to lend strength to the movement.
“We offer GAIS to compensate fishermen in times of misfortune, thereby guaranteeing their social and financial security,” said Mishra.
Mishra added that FISHCOPFED wants to increase the scope of insurance to include fishing nets, boats and other items used in fishing. We are also in the process of setting up retail outlets to sell fish so that its members are not forced to distress-sell, besides planning to take reservoirs for fishing purpose,” said Mishra.
Till date, 3.7 million fishers of the country have been covered under GAIC. A sum of Rs 1 lakh against death and permanent total disability and Rs 50,000 against permanent partial disability are being provided as insurance.
Out of 12 lakh fishermen in Odisha, 10 lakh have been insured under the scheme which is the highest for any single state in the country. Odisha is being awarded as a leading state in respect of fishermen’s insurance in the entire country for the last three years.
“One lakh more fishermen will be covered under the scheme in 2013-14,” informed Mishra.
Fisheries and Animal Resources Development secretary Sanjeev Kumar Mishra assured all help from the Government side for the welfare of the fishermen community.