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Let it sink in: There is still no word from almost 900 fisherfolk after Cyclone Ockhi

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V.Balasubramani

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It is reported that cyclone ‘Ockhi’ battered the cost and displaced hundreds of fishing families and destroyed their houses. Governments are making tall claims about the rescue and relief measures made to save the fishermen who were stranded in the sea….

Cyclone Ockhi

Let it sink in: There is still no word from almost 900 fisher folk after Cyclone Ockhi






If such a disaster had happened in Chennai, would it have been ignored the same way, ask fisher communities.
Consider these numbers. 11 days, over 120* dead and around 900* still missing.

Cyclone Ockhi hit India’s southern coast on November 30, its gale winds leaving behind a trail of death and destruction. Yet the cries of men, women and children from south Tamil Nadu and Kerala have not been loud enough to outrage us – the media, the government and the people.

In Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari, people have been protesting for the past four days demanding that the missing fishermen be rescued. On Monday, families carried out a symbolic protest, draping a black cloth around their eyes – suggesting that the state and central governments have been blind to their cries.

Just over 100 kilometres away, in Kerala’s capital, hundreds carried out a similar protest outside the Raj Bhavan in Thiruvananthapuram, demanding that rescue efforts be stepped up to save nearly 250 fishermen who are still missing.

Out of sight, out of mind?


“We have been crying so far but no one has heard us. If this had happened in Chennai – will the Tamil Nadu government or the national media not care? We are at the edge of Tamil Nadu, that is why we have been neglected,” hits out Father Churchill, who belongs to the South Asian Fishermen’s Federation based in Kanyakumari.

This sense of betrayal is not limited to the fishing community in Tamil Nadu. Sindhu Maria Napolean, the daughter of a fisherman in Thiruvananthapuram, echoed Father Churchill’s thoughts in a recent Facebook post, which has gone viral. Lashing out at the media and the government, Sindhu wrote, “A friend told me yesterday, that if a tragedy like this had happened in Sabarimala, our central and state governments would have sprung into action! For you, the news was how Kadakampally boarded a helicopter, or how Pinarayi's car was blocked or how Nirmala Sitharaman went to Kanyakumari. Now I understand why people said someone from our community itself should be there to present what is news to us."

Read more at: http://www.thenewsminute.com/articl...most-900-fisherfolk-after-cyclone-ockhi-72985
 
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V.Balasubramani

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[h=1]In the wake of Cyclone Ockhi, churches in Tamil Nadu fishing villages turn into protest hubs[/h][h=2]The predominantly Christian fishing community in the Thoothoor region says four fishermen have died and 42 are still missing.[/h]


“You do not know the value of our boats. You do not know the value of our traditional crafts. But don’t you at least know the value of our lives? Shame on you, the government.”

This is a common refrain heard in the fishing belt of Thoothoor in Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari district, where residents of eight coastal villages are protesting against claimed government inaction in the wake of Cyclone Ockhi. Since December 7, members of the fishing community have put aside work and gathered in tents to demand that the government intensify its rescue and relief efforts. Since the members of the fishing community in this belt are predominantly Christian, they have turned several churches into protest hubs.

The cyclone, which originated in the Bay of Bengal near Sri Lanka, hit Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Kerala on November 29 before heading towards Gujarat. The death toll touched 42 on Monday, with more bodies found off the coast of Kerala. More than 500 fishermen
from Tamil Nadu alone are still missing, a government official said on Sunday.

“You do not know the value of our boats. You do not know the value of our traditional crafts. But don’t you at least know the value of our lives? Shame on you, the government.”

This is a common refrain heard in the fishing belt of Thoothoor in Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari district, where residents of eight coastal villages are protesting against claimed government inaction in the wake of Cyclone Ockhi. Since December 7, members of the fishing community have put aside work and gathered in tents to demand that the government intensify its rescue and relief efforts. Since the members of the fishing community in this belt are predominantly Christian, they have turned several churches into protest hubs.
The cyclone, which originated in the Bay of Bengal near Sri Lanka, hit Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Kerala on November 29 before heading towards Gujarat. The death toll touched 42 on Monday, with more bodies found off the coast of Kerala. More than 500 fishermen from Tamil Nadu alone are still missing, a government official said on Sunday.

Read more at; https://scroll.in/article/861114/in...-nadu-fishing-villages-turn-into-protest-hubs
 
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