Herald: Curfew and Cyclone Impact: Ramponkars Fight to Survive
Impact of curfew and cyclone: Ramponkars fight to survive
Traditional fishermen complain about the loss of activity; Fear that their identity will also perish if such situations continue
MARGAO: The statewide curfew in effect following the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent Cyclone Tauktae, which left its mark of destruction across the state, has affected the business of nearly 100 ramponkars (traditional fishermen), who now apprehend such situations then not only continue their business, their identity will also perish.
Highlighting the plight of nearly 100 traditional fishermen or ramponkars, who are severely affected by the curfew and Cyclone Tauktae, Niz Ramponkarancho Ekvott Chairman Ebel Barreto said: “We are at zero. Our business has gone from bad to worse and we don’t know how to survive under these circumstances. Few of our members have no other secondary activity to recover from the losses. If such situations continue, it is not only our business, our identity will perish as well. ”
Besides Ebel, there are nearly 100 traditional fishermen or ramponkars who are severely affected due to the curfew imposed due to the peak of COVID cases and also due to Cyclone Tauktae. The season from April to May, which is the most favorable for their activity, has fallen to zero as they face many difficulties to survive in these difficult times.
Ebel, who is also a traditional fisherman from Cavelossim, said Mobor: “First of all, we have lost our trading season due to the government-imposed curfew following the rapid increase in COVID cases. April and May are two months before the fishing ban where we can earn something extra thanks to the traditional method of fishing. Article 144 CrPC restricted our fishing activities because we could not venture into the sea, in addition to the public refraining from buying fish, ”he complained.
He said: “Cyclone Tauktae made our misery even worse, resulting in huge losses for our business. At the moment due to such situations our finances are zero. For a month and a half, we have had nothing more to do. Therefore, we don’t know how to survive ”.
There are nearly 50 registered members of traditional ramponkars and fishermen under Niz Ramponkarancho Ekvott, in addition there are over 50 other traditional fishermen in South Goa.
He informed that the most traditional fishermen have no other secondary activities and that their survival is at stake.
Pelé Fernandes, a traditional fisherman from Benaulim said he was forced, along with several others, to close their business and stay at home.
“We are small-scale fishermen and we practice our fishing activities by venturing into the sea with minimal equipment. Our business is a small business, so we have to depend on the plugs. However, because of the curfew, we are the recipients, “he complained.
Pelé also blamed the Indian Metrology Department for its “erroneous” weather reports regarding the rough seas.
“A few days ago there were weather reports from IMD indicating that the seas would be rough and fishermen should not venture into the sea. However, there was nothing like this during the days mentioned in the reports As a result we have lost These types of inaccurate weather reports are affecting our operations, ”he said.
Pelé urged the relevant department to provide accurate weather reports to ensure proper advice to the fishing community.
Minguel Fernandes, 65, said their income depended on the catch which is too small in quantity.
“We hardly receive any government subsidy from the trawler owners. I depend on the daily income and at the moment we have nothing,” he said.
The government-imposed curfew and Cyclone Tauktae severely affected traditional ramponkars in South Goa, just at a time when business was said to have been at its peak, before the fishing ban was implemented.