Oinam Rajen, Fisherman from Loktak
Fishing communities of Loktak are facing immense difficulties because of COVID-19 related lockdown from March 23, 2020 till now. Fisher community inside Loktak Champu Khangpok floating village continues to face the brunt almost every day without adequate essential commodities like rice, firewood, edible oil, vegetables, medicines etc. The community members have not been able to sell fishes and their catches are being wasted. Most of them are unable to earn their daily income due to the lockdown. They are unable to reach neighbouring villages in the absence of transportation. Fishing communities have not been able to avail any relief material from the government of India or the state government like Prime Minister’s Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan Yojana. Member of Parliament (MP) of Inner Manipur, RK Ranjan helped us with essential commodities for the fishing community at Loktak Champu Khangpok floating village on April 2, 2020. Besides, the All Manipur Students Union (AMSU) also extended their help on April 8, 2020. The all Manipur Thanga People Welfare Association on April 23, 2020 also came up with the much needed help. However, right now we are back to square one with no help in sight. There is a shortage of foodgrain. If the situation continues, half of the fishing communities will face a bleak future.