Mangalore May 16: The Karnataka Fisheries Development Corporation
(KFDC) has decided to launch Matsyavahini, an exclusive bus service
for fisherwomen in the coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi
and Uttara Kannada, to facilitate them to transport their baskets of
fish in comfort to the markets and also to the ports to fetch fish.
Speaking to reporters here on Saturday, KFDC Chairman Ramachandra
Baikampady said fisherwomen who depend on rickshaws and local buses to
carry the fish to village markets, will now be able to use the
specially-designed buses, which will have seating arrangements on one
side and a place to keep baskets to store their fish in, on the other.
Normally, fisherwomen catch the first bus to State Bank region in
Mangalore and then go to the wharf by walking. However, this bus will
take them directly to the wharf. Minimum charges will be collected
from women, Baikampady said. Two buses will serve the fisherwomen of
Karwar, Tadadi, Honnavar, Bhatkal, Gangolli Ankola, Gangolli and
Mangalore while Malpe which has more fisherwomen will have three buses.
Each bus will run on a definite route, covering all the major
villages. In Dakshina Kannada district, the bus will run from Ullal to
Wharf and Sasihithlu to Wharf (Old Port). The bus will start between 4
am and 4.30 am. There will be two trips, ie., one in the early morning
and another in the afternoon. He said this is an attempt to provide
social justice to these fisherwomen.
The Chief Minister is likely to formally inaugurate the service of
two buses in the second week of June, said Baikampady. But the
service will actually take off in August as the fishing season comes
to an end in June, he added.
The corporation hopes the buses will come to the rescue of the
hundreds of fisherwomen who have a difficult time convincing the local
bus services to allow them to carry their fish baskets on board
everyday from the fishing port to the markets.
International Collective in Support of Fishworkers(ICSF)
27 College Road
Chennai 600 006