And not just that, they have left behind them a trail of their success story for others to seek inspiration from and emulate.
The fishermen families in Arga and Chendia in Karwar taluk were pushed to the streets when they had to give away their houses and land for the nation’s ambitious project, Seabird Naval Base. Having lost everything in the name of development, they had to relocate themselves and start their life afresh. Apart from fishing, the only occupation they believed and breathed, they had to reconstruct their shattered lives. At the Rehabilitation Centre in Harwad, Ankola taluk, the men tried their luck in search of work in Mangalore, Malpe and Goa, while the burden of running the families fell on the women folk. And they decided to join hands for their financial empowerment.
The Vaibhava Lakshmi Self Help Group was conceived and the enthusiastic members began their venture, seeking a loan from the bank.
Moral, financial boost
Impressed by their dedication and commitment in timely repayment of loan, the Avarsa branch of Syndicate Bank in Ankola taluk decided to give a moral and financial boost to realise their dreams. Branch Manager M P Kamath advised them to begin their own enterprise, albeit on a small scale.
The self help group members submitted a project report for an amount of Rs 3.50 lakh to purchase gillnet boats to undertake fishing activities and the branch gave wings to their dream by sanctioning the loan. The self help group also appointed two fishermen to run their boats.
According to M P Kamath, this was for the first time in the State that a self help group was into fishing. Self help groups cannot merely survive on loans. They should gradually spread their wings and venture into income generating activities. The Vaibhava Lakshmi self help group has proved it, he added.