Kendrapara: After a prolonged wait, fishermen families identified under Rice for Oilive Ridley Conservation (ROrC) scheme have become the recipients of Public Distribution Scheme doles in coastal districts like Kendrapara in Odisha.
So far 2200 families who are affected by 7-month-long prohibition on marine fishing for turtle protection measures every year were distributed special eligibility cards for the subsidised rice benefits, according to officials.
Altogether 10,133 fishermen families have been targeted to get PDS coverage to make up their vocation and livelihood loss in Kendrapara, Puri, Ganjam and Bhadrak districts where the turtles arrive for nesting each winter.
The bulk of the affected families are from Kendrapara as the coastal district is home to the restricted sea corridors of Gahirmatha marine sanctuary.
It is a livelihood stakes package for poor fishermen communities to ensure them food security. Because of prohibition of fishing from November 1 to May 31 each year, the community is adversely affected with depletion of income sources. Under the scheme, each family will be provided with 25 kg of rice at subsidised rate of Re 1 per kg every month.
2200 families were distributed special cards. The cards entitle them to get subsidised rice each month from PDS retailers of Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department, said Additional Fisheries Officer, Paradip, Ranjit Dash.
Of the 10,133 identified beneficiaries, 6,255 families are from Kendrapara district. The rest of the targeted families are from Puri, Ganjam and Bhadrak district.
While 3,959 families have been enumerated for PDS coverage in Mahakalpada block, 2,296 fishermen families are from seaside Rajnagar block, said a senior official.
Aware of loss of livelihood sources following the seven-month-long prohibition on sea-fishing, the government had earlier announced extension of PDS families in favour of affected fishermen families.
The ban had hit hard livelihood stakes of fishermen communities besides other stakeholders.
After prohibition was lifted on May 31, sea fishing got frequently disrupted owing frequent formation of low pressure.