CHENNAI: The move by Kamarajar Port to provide skill development training to fishermen as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative has evoked mixed reactions from the fishing community who fear it aims to take away their livelihood. The `1.57 crore move is supposed to end the stand-off on the reclamation of land along the Kosalathiyar River and Buckingham Canal.
Kosu Mani, president of the TN Meenavar Makkal Munnani, told City Express the skill development initiative is a welcome step. “But if the officials plan to reclaim the land through such schemes then the protest would continue,” he said. S P Aravindan of Netkuppam, who is also a member of the Ennore Port Union, said the courses like lab technician, tailoring or garment making, AC and fridge mechanics are not enough.
“Ennore is very near to Chennai and people here are not that backward. What we want is to improve the infrastructure of schools. The port should provide a computer lab to the government school in Netkuppam and develop it as a model school,” he explained.
“Villages across the Ennore Creek have been neglected under this initiative.” The training is conducted by the MRF Institute of Driver Development, Chennai, and the National Institute for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Hyderabad. MRF has already started training 196 applicants in driving.
The Kamarajar Port is incurring the cost of training, transport and also stipend. Similarly, the National Institute of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises will be training 865 applicants to become lab technicians, tailoring or garment makers, AC and fridge mechanics, electricians, wireman, welders and more.