A timely lifeline to the economically challenged

A timely lifeline to the economically challenged

It was nice to reconnect with the fisherman community of Karvikeri, where we have been connected for more than 14 years when we opened our first Regional office in Kundapur. Where we started cleaning activities, Sea Turtle Conservation, and where we still work on waste management activities. We also organised many work camps in the school for the children of Kharvikeri.

The fisherman community at Kharvikeri consists of around 400 families. For hundreds of years, they have been dwellers on the Kundapur coast and have been fishermen through many generations. They earn their living mainly by fishing in their own boats or working as fishermen for the boat owners.

Collecting seashells is another main occupation. The crushed seashells are added to chicken feed and paint. Even the popular ‘paan’ (betel leaf, arecanut, and quicklime) contains a dash of crushed seashells.  They also collect and sell different kinds of shellfish like oysters, mussels, and cockles, which have a wide market. Some of them work in fish shops cutting, cleaning and selling fish, in clothes shops as salespeople, and in coconut groves, where they make the trenches for the trees. The women also work in the fish markets, as houseworkers, and in hotels as dishwashers, or cleaners.

We distributed 80 ration kits to the most needy families of this community and some underprivileged families at Gulwadi around our Training Centre, the majority of whom are fishermen and daily wagers, and impacted by the COVID 19 related lockdown. 40 of the most needy families were identified by the local youth group and our staff, who have been working in this area for the last 16 years. Those selected were disabled due to various illnesses and accidents, widows whose earning members died while fishing, and the remaining, daily wage labourers who have no work and any earnings.

The day before the distribution, our distribution team consisting of Shalini and Dinesh informed all the beneficiary families and gave each family a token, to streamline the distribution. 500 gms of vermicelli was added to the ration kit on request, which contained 10 kgs boiled rice, 1 litre palm oil, 2 kgs sugar, 2 kgs jaggery, 500 gms tea powder, red chillis 500 gms, onions 2 kgs, tamarind 500 gms, coriander 250 gms, wheat flour 2 kgs, rava 1 kg, garlic 250 gms, jeera 100 gms, rasam powder 200 gms and biscuits 5 kgs.

Transport for the relief at Kharvikeri was provided by the Rotaract Club Welfare Trust. DinakarKharvi, the President of the Kharvi offered his house as a location for the distribution, which was fixed on 22nd May 2020.

The first 2 sessions were at Kharvikeri, at 10:00 and 11:00 am, with a 30- minute break in-between. Mr Pravin, Secretary of the Rotaract Club, and members Damodar Pai and Sridhar were present at the distribution, along with Mrs Vasanthi Saranga, the ex-Municipality President, Sandeep Kharvi of Melkeri Ward and Chandrashekhar of the BS Road Ward.

Simultaneously, at 11:00 am, at our Centre for Experiential Living, 20 ration kits for families identified by the Gulvadi Panchayat were distributed to landless tile factory workers, homemakers and a security guard by our staff, Nagaraj and Geetha.

The final distribution for the day took place at 4:00 pm, at Gulvadi to 20 poor Hindu and Muslim families identified by Mr Yakub Khader, an award- winning filmmaker, and also the leader of the community. 

Proper social distancing, masking, and sanitisation was maintained, as per the government norms. Our beneficiaries were very grateful for the essentials and expressed their gratitude.

Our organisation has been committed to the development of rural communities for the last 20 years. It gives us immense gratification to be of service to these families who are facing difficulties during the lockdown period.  We thank all our team members, supporters, volunteers, donors, family and friends, Government officials, and local leaders for their involvement, support, positive energy, and good wishes.

If you would like to be a part of our COVID 19 related activities, please write to info@fsl-india.org. Donations in cash, kind or service are most welcome. Watch this space for more stories of COVID 19 relief.

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