Gujarat veteran fishworkers’ leader Ahmed Chacha passes away
By Spl Correspondent
New Delhi: Gujarat’s veteran fishworkers’ leader, Ahmed Chacha, who was at the forefront of the people’s movement against Adani and Tata’s corporate excesses in Kutch, was passed away on March 4.
Condoling his death, the National Alliance of Peoples Movement (NAPM) said Ahmed Chacha played an important role in building the National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF) in Gujarat.
He is known to have led many struggles for the rights of the fishing community in Kutch, Gujarat and was part of the Machhimar Adhikar Sangharsh Sangathan (MASS) since from its very inception which came up as a result of the community mobilisation and capacity building that ‘Setu’ has been doing among the traditional fishing communities of Kutch at Bhadreshwar village in Mundra Taluk of Kutch district.
He was also at the forefront of the people’s movement against Adani and Tata’s corporate excesses in Kutch and played an important role in building the National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF) in the state.
Gujarat has the longest coastline in the country at 1650 kilometer. Fishing is also an important contributor to the state’s GDP and Rs 7,000 crore worth of seafood is annually exported. The multi-billion fishing industry employs around 3.5 lakh people in the state.
What a paradox! In so-called Vibrant Gujarat, fishermen live in inhuman conditions without any access to basic amenities, education and health facilities. Now, we are being wiped out by Adani’s Mundra Port and SEZ, OPG Power Plant etc. This is our struggle to win our right to live a dignified life, Ahmed Chacha used to say.
NAPM said “We acknowledge with salutes Ahmed chacha’s lifelong struggle and contribution to the cause of coastal communities in a state where fishworkers have often been marginalized, even by those meant to represent their interests, within the fisheries department.
Kutch which covers 405 km out of the 1,663 km long Gujarat coast has only one point developed for fishing, till date.
Over the years, small-scale fishworkers, in particular communities which have been displaced in the development of industries, and Pagadiya and Adivasi fishworkers, and women across these communities, have suffered drastic losses due to growing industrial pollution and lack of appropriate legislation ensuring their rights.
Remembering Ahmed Chacha, we stand in solidarity with the struggles of fishworkers in Gujarat and across the country, who are asserting their right to a life with dignity in the face of destructive and displacing developmental paradigms, NAPM said