Yakub Hasan Manjaliya of Luni village is a fisherman whose community is at the marginalized fringes of society. As is the case with fisher-folk, he is usually self-employed for a period of 7-8 months during which he resides in the coastal settlements of the fishing community. For the rest of the year, when he is unemployed, he returns to his village.
For fishermen, life revolves around the sea, fishes and the fishing nets. Their net is the most important equipment for them to earn livelihood. Most of the fishermen borrow money to buy or rent the fishing nets. Since, the nets are very critical for their livelihood, they are usually charged high amounts by the money lenders and the renters. Also, as it is a recurring expense on buying, renting and maintaining the nets, they get caught in a vicious circle of debt. Moreover, due to lack of financial literacy, the fisher-folks usually do not save for such buying or mending of nets even though it is an integral part of their livelihood.
Their income is just enough to make their ends meet. Because of this they are unable to afford the costs of replacing the nets. Though, there is a real need for them to develop a habit of saving, it has to be preceded by having some extra income which will allow them to save.
To enable the fisher-folk community to rise above , Adani Foundation started providing them with a financial aid up to Rs. 10,000/ – for procuring equipment, they needed. This is being utilized for procuring various kinds of fishing nets, ropes, boya etc.
Yakub bhai was one of the first beneficiaries amongst the fisher-folk. “With financial support from AF, I could not only come out of the debt trap. And the Janashree Bima Yojana also covered me from further risks. My sons were also facilitated to continue their studies in high school.”- Yakub Hasan Manjaliya says.
For Adani Foundation, it didn’t stop there. Under an initiative to protect and preserve the coastal environment, mangrove nurseries were established and plantation projects were undertaken. In order to make the projects a resounding success, the local fisher-folks were involved during their off-fishing season. Yakub bhai was the one of those who could have the employment opportunity during their off-season. Upon experiencing the benefits, he also recommended the scheme to his fellow fisher-folks.