Bali, a small Island within Sundarban inhabited by tribal and SC populations, was ravaged by the strong cyclonic storm “Aila” in 2009, causing heavy damage to the livestock and biodiversity resulting in severe food crisis. Traditionally the inhabitants venture into the dense Sunderban forests for their livelihood and face casualties from ferocious Bengal tigers and crocodiles. With a view to offering a helping hand to people of Bali, Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA) has initiated livelihood up-gradation programme under Tribal Sub Plan (TSP). Several inputs such as fish seed, feed, utensils, nets, FRP portable hatchery etc. were supplied and skill development programme on carp polyculture arranged for the local inhabitants. The first phase of the programme was launched in February 2013 benefiting 22 families, while Dr. S. Ayyappan, Secretary, DARE and DG, ICAR inaugurated the second phase.
Necessary inputs for fish culture like cast net, handi, happa, fish seed, fertilizer, lime, feed and manure, in addition to saplings of jujube, lemons etc. and seedlings of vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage etc were distributed to another 29 beneficiaries. The local inhabitants are encouraged to desist from their perilous search for honey and firewood from the forest, and to adopt fish culture as means of livelihood.
Dr. S. D. Singh, ADG, Inland Fisheries; Dr. P. Jayasankar, Director, CIFA; Dr. B. Saha (IAS), Director of Fisheries, Govt. of West Bengal; F. Lepcha, Additional Director of Fisheries, Govt. of West Bengal along with scientists of NBSSLUP, Salt Lake, Kolkata, Shri. Anil Mistry, Secretary, Wild Life Protection Society of India; Dr P.P. Chakrabarty, SIC, Rahara RRC of CIFA; Dr B.C. Mahapatra, Principal Scientist, CIFA; Dr Kuldeep Kumar, Principal Scientist (Retd.), and other staff from CIFA were also present.
(Source: Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture, Bhubaneswar)