Chennai, July 21 : Seven Tsunami affected fishermen will soon be visiting Vietnam for a 20-day sojourn to learn modern techniques of catching fish and trawler operations under a government project.
These farmers will be going to Vietnam under Tsunami Relief Committee's project sponsored by Rotary Club.
Led by a former official of the Fisheries Department, these fishermen will attend a 20-day training programme and learn about the techniques and practices employed by fishermen in Vietnam.
Vietnam fishermen net an annual catch worth 6 billion dollars in the seafood sector's turnover. Half of this sum is earned in terms of foreign exchange, propping up Vietnam's aqua-driven economy.
The visit has been organised by the Rotary Club's Tsunami Relief Committee in partnership with the Fisheries Department of Tamil Nadu.
The unique Rotary programme is, however, the newest in a series of community uplift initiatives conceived to rehabilitate thousands of coastal people who were devastated by the tsunami of 2004.
"We want them to learn all these, return, and take a bank loan if they don't have the money. There is government support for them. We want them to be prosperous," said Benjamin Cherian, Chairman of the Relief Committee.
In the fisherman hamlet of Pulicat in Tamil Nadu's Thiruvallur district, for instance, the Rotary members are brining in a help of nearly rupees 10.5 millions for a community hall, ice plant, apart from renovation of five schools.
On its return, this fishermen's group share its acquired knowledge with others in their community.
"On 2004, we were affected by tsunami. We were doing traditional sea fishing. Now with the help of Rotary we are going to Vietnam for advance training. And after learning fishing, farming fish, catching them, we would come back to India and teach other Indian fishermen. We are very confident of developing our fishermen community," said Vetrivel, a fisherman.
Squid fishing that is a nocturnal engagement, sea cage culture, seafood processing and packaging in ready-to-cook packs will form part of the training organised by Vietnam's Aquaculture Ministry.
Rotary, which has mobilised around rupees one million for this trip, envisages making the training programme a regular feature and, in due course, take it to other States, if other sponsors also come forward.
December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea (subduction) earthquake with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia.
The earthquake triggered a series of devastating tsunamis along the coasts of most landmasses bordering the Indian Ocean, killing more than 225,000 people in eleven countries, and inundating coastal communities with waves up to 30 meters (100 feet) high.
It was one of the deadliest natural disasters in history. Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand were hardest hit. By Jayakumar