ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Fishworkers' Demands

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As part of the nationwide agitation conducted by the National Fishworkers Forum, Rambhau Patil, general secretary of the forum and its constituent the Maharashtra Machimaar Kruti Samiti undertook an indefinite hunger strike along with Sushila Cordoza at the fishing village at Cuffe Parade in Mumbai from January 8, 2001. A morcha of 1,000 fishermen and women wearing traditional dress proceeded to the venue of the hunger strike. Motiram Bhave, Moreshwar Patil, Raghunath Tandel, N D Koli addressed the gathering as did Sanjay M G, coordinator of the NAPM and extended full support to the demands of the fisher people. Anand, MLC and Patrawalla, MLA also came to the venue of the hunger strike. The main demands of the fisher people are: (1) Withdraw Aquaculture Authority Bill; (2) Stop import of fish; (3) Implement Murari Committee recommendations; (4) Ensure adequate supply of Kerosene and diesel at subsidised rates to all the fisherfolk; (5) Include women and inland fisherpeople in savings cum relief schemes.

A delegation of fisherpeople called on the state fisheries minister and discussed various problems facing the fisherworkers. At Palghar in Thane district a mammoth morcha of 10,000 fishermen and fisherwomen was taken to the Palghar tehsildar. A memorandum regarding the fishworkers’ demands was presented to him to forward to the concerned authorities for action. A R Patil, a veteran leader of fishermen aged 75 announced at the morcha that he would also undertake indefinite hunger strike. A mammoth morcha will be taken to the residence of Ram Naik, petroleum minister, in Mumbai on the January 10 to press for the demand for adequate supply of diesel and kerosene to all the fisherpeople at subsidised rates.

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