THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: T'Puram Express interacts with candidates on how they intend to resolve the issues of the fishermen community
Kummanam Rajasekharan (BJP Candidate)
Two years after the deadly Ockhi hit the Kerala coast destroying major parts of the state, many survivors and families of the missing fishermen are yet to reawaken themselves. Rehabilitation is the biggest challenge people face post Ockhi. As thousands were rendered homeless after the disaster, they were shifted to relief camps set up across the state.In the fray of the upcoming elections, Kummanam Rajasekharan stressed on what he would do to ensure the survivors and the families of the missing fishermen get their due share. Programmes and packages aplenty were promised by the Government but nothing was implemented."A particular package should have been given to the Ockhi victims but nothing has been done. The amount that was kept aside for the welfare of the victims was also not utilised," he said. Citing the importance of providing training to fishermen, Kummanam said more fishermen should be recruited as coast guards. He also opined that rehabilitation of the Ockhi victims and welfare of the fishermen community will also be part of his election manifesto.
C Divakaran (LDF Candidate)
Rehabilitation will be a dominant theme in the upcoming polls, according to C Divakaran. He stressed on working for the welfare of the fishermen community and ensured that a permanent solution will be obtained to their sufferings.Presently the government is taking count of the houses which were partially damaged and those that were completely damaged in Ockhi.Based on the eligibility, the Ockhi victims will be given their due share."All welfare schemes are getting delayed on account of the elections. But, the government has guaranteed benefit once the election is over. Schemes for the fishermen community will take time," said Divakaran.He also highlighted the main reason for the delay of the schemes is the bureaucrat system. He added all the issues faced by the fishermen community will be addressed in his manifesto and job opportunities for the fishermen will also be provided.
Shashi Tharoor (UDF Candidate)
To change their current reality Shashi Tharoor said his manifesto is committed towards continuing his repeated efforts in Parliament to push the government to sanction a special economic package that will provide compensations for those who lost homes and loved ones during the crisis. It will also include the members of these communities within larger infrastructure projects in the constituencies.A dedicated Ministry of Fisheries that can roll out dedicated policies and programmes for the community must be developed. Considering the devastating effects of both Cyclone Ockhi and floods in the last two years he said,"We also need to work towards developing the capacities of these communities to mitigate the impact of these natural disasters. Two areas that I am strongly focussed towards in this regard are the strengthening of rock groynes particularly in Poonthura, Panathura and Beemapalli which will help arrest coastal soil erosion in these areas which annually eats into the land held by this community."