Press Release: Tata Power Mundra UMPP partners with AAKAR to enhance quality of life of fisher community in Gujarat

National, February 11,2014

Tata Power, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Coastal Gujarat Power Limited (CGPL) has always remained committed towards inclusive growth and development of all the communities in and around its areas of operation. In line with this, Tata Power has implemented programs to enhance the quality of life of fishermen community through various social and development activities.

The inhabitants of the Kutch district face numerous issues such as lack of proper education, skills-sets, proper exposure in the fishing business and infrastructure which are necessary for sustaining their income and increasing productivity. Being a coastal area, the main source of livelihood of the community is fishing, which yields a low annual income as the fish catch is seasonal. Fishermen are trapped in the vicious cycle of borrowing from traders and selling their catch at pre-determined rates as they are at the mercy of traders.

In order to improve the quality of life of fisher community at Tragadi Bunder ( In Mandvi Taluka), Tata Power signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with AAKAR an organization with technical knowhow and expertise in implementation of Community development program and holistic development of the community. The objective of the MoU is for creation of awareness on health and hygiene, establishment of Fisheries Information Centre, extending training to the fisher folk on behavior change communication, importance of education among the children, support to the existing school at the Tragadi bunder, promotion of folklore among the fisher community adopting best practices for improving the processes in the fish catch value chain. This also aims vision building exercises and also convergence with Government schemes.

The MoU encompasses the framework and strategy in order to undertake social development activities for the sustainable livelihood of the fishermen community in Tragadi Bunder area. CGPL and AAKAR have nominated project coordinators to design, orchestrate, and implement the integrated social and economic development initiatives in a strategic manner. In order to develop initiatives which will address the key challenges faced by the community, the team will first conduct rapport building exercise with local people. Post procuring inputs from the fishermen community, a visioning document will be prepared which will map the issues and the appropriate solutions which will then be implemented stage wise. AAKAR will also submit monthly and quarterly reports covering the progress of the initiatives which will be vetted by an independent agency in order to maintain complete transparency and disclosure. Such initiatives will lead to adoption of better technology, process improvements, value addition to product, improved price realization, exploration of new markets accentuate need for better living standards and education of children.

Speaking on the initiative, Mr. K. K. Sharma, ED and CEO- CGPL stated, “We at Tata Power, work towards the well-being and development of the community, environment and our employees. We aim to set up a strong support system for the benefit of the fishermen community and furnish them with the necessary skills set in order to improve their quality of life. We thank AAKAR for their support and contribution and look forward to working together for the betterment of the community in Mundra and Mandvi.”

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