'Alegalu' tells fishermen's tales

'Alegalu' tells fishermen's tales

When most of the fish loving Mangaloreans relish the dishes prepared out of a variety of fishes available in the market, hardly any of us know the struggles of the fishing community members who work day and night to catch and market fishes.

In an attempt to discover and understand the life of these hard working fishing community, the  students of Pathways Cell at St Aloysius College, have brought out a 17 minutes documentary film ‘Alegalu’ (waves) focusing on the life of people in Bengre. The documentary, which begins with an introduction to Bengre, an estuary which is located 15 kilo meters away, with a poor transport system, takes audience to a journey exploring the simple yet decent life of fishing community.

The documentary, mostly shot in the mid sea along with the fishermen who go for deep sea fishing, portrays the routine life of the fishing community which begins at 4 am and closes at 8 pm. Apart from throwing light on the life of fishermen who go for fishing for several days and nights, it also captures the role played by women in cleaning, drying and selling fishes, thus contributing to the family income.

The short documentary not only throws light on the problems faced by the residents of Bengre, but also portrays the brighter side of their life.

Release

Mangalore Today Editor and Publisher V U George released the documentary at a formal function ‘Diganta’ organised at Teletorium of the College. Releasing the documentary, George said it was important for students as well as general public to understand the hardships that the fishermen undergo in their process of catching fish in the sea.

Delivering key-note address, Department of History Associate Professor Denis Fernandes said that first time Bengre was documented in a written format in a book on Dakshina Kannada district published by Mangalore University way back in 1991. There are several issues causing threat to the lives of the people of Bengre including the health related ones. The waste materials deposited in the sanctuary are leading to various diseases. Such problems should be identified and brought to the notice of the authorities, he said.
Nishmitha, one of the team members in producing the documentary said that it was a learning experience for the last six months, during their visits to Bengre to study the life of fishermen.

The documentary shot, edited and directed by students studying in I year BA journalism, ends up with an opinion collection from fishermen about what dreams they have for their children. And the reply comes unanimously, “we do not want our children to continue with fishing as an occupation. We want them to pursue education and lead a prosperous life,” thus hinting at dark day ahead for fishing as an occupation.

The documentary is funded by Bangalore based NGO Centre for the Study of Culture and Studies.

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