Family Awareness Campaign at Kumli wetland of Nadia District: An attempt of CIFRI for Community Empowerment towards Sustainable Fish Production
Kumli wetland, situated in Nadia District of West Bengal is one of the highly prospective wetlands in the lower Gangetic plane of West Bengal with high potential for culture and conservation of Small Indigenous Fishes (SIFs). Day by day biodiversity of SIF is decreasing due to multiple reasons despite their potential role in livelihood and nutritional security. The womenfolk of the fishing communities can easily be leveraged for conservation of SIFs which will readily improve their income generating capability and nutritional status. However, due to lack of mobilization and awareness women of this region are not yet active participants in economic fishing activities. Realizing the need for sensitizing the fishermen and women of the area through scientific and strategic interventions, Dr. B. K. Das, Director, ICAR-CIFRI took initiative to arrange a family awareness campaign with special emphasis on leveraging women for culture and conservation of SIFs. The awareness campaign was held on 10.09.2019 under Scheduled Caste Sub Plan (SCSP) in which around 60 member fishers participated along with the president, secretary and board members of the cooperative. Significant number of women participated in the programme and they were sensitized about the importance of culture of SIFs. Dr. B. K. Das, the director of the Institute while addressing the audience, stressed on the importance of SIF for income generation, nutritional security and women empowerment through efficient management practices and collective approaches. The fishers were motivated by him to adopt the improved technology and management practices through intervention of the institute. He assured the fisherwomen that they will be provided hands on training on culture and conservation of SIFs by the Institute which would help in their income augmentation. Dr. A. K. Das, In-Charge of extension and Training Cell of the Institute elaborated the training and capacity building facilities provided by the Institute and insisted fisherwomen to attend the training programmes conducted in the Institute headquarter at Barrackpore. Apart from these, pen was installed in the wetland, demonstrated and around 10 lakhs spawn of Indian Major Carps were released in the pen. Dr. A. K. Das, In-Charge, E&T Cell and Ms. Sukanya Som, Scientist and Member, SCSP facilitated the programme.