Sakhi facilitated the empowerment process since its inception by organizing the fisherwomen community for claiming their share in the fisheries business as their right and also took responsibilities for capacitating fisherwomen on technical aspects of fish farming. Traditionally, women are not supposed to do the fishing in the pond and it was a great challenge before the organization. Sakhi’s strategies to organize them and then capacitate them on social as well as on technical issues yielded very positive results. The women members undertook exposure visits to Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha on fish farming. This brought significant shift in their perspective and learnings and it worked as eye opener for the fisher community in general and women in particular. It gave ample impetus for motivating the fisher community. Even the fishermen outlook changed and they started supporting the fisherwomen wholeheartedly which brought the entire community on the same platform and further strengthened the movement and fight for the Rights.
The main focus indeed is the Fight for the Right of the Fisherwomen over the Ponds and getting organised in Co-operatives for development of Fish Farming. This objective was well backed by various supporting agencies who came on board to take the movement far by providing the necessary aid and grants.
The Key Projects under Fisheries are:
- Community development program- Swiss Red Cross
- Ensuring livelihoods of poor households belonging to traditional fishery households/ dalit community – Jamshedji Tata Trust
- Fisheries Development at Maun- Central Institute of Fishery education
- Organizing poor and tribal community towards livelihood initiatives – Sir Dorabji Tata Trust
- Development of Livelihood Intervention Models for Socially Excluded Communities– WASSSAN PACS
- Fish Farming Project- Geneva Global
- Livelihood Initiation through Fisheries- Oxfam India
- Jeevika model and Intervention in Fishery- BRLPS
- Action research on Impact of secured tenure period on Fish production (ILRT)
- Influenced Govt. of Bihar at Policy level to amend and bring changes in the existing Co operative act 1935 to Co-operative Act 1996 which would allow the women to get back their well deserved fisheris co operative rights. The Co-operative was amended and women were rightfully rewarded.
- Sakhi has been instrumental in getting a total of 13 Block level fisherwomen’s co -operative societies registered under the 1996 Amended Bihar Co operative Act.
- Settlement of 150 government pond in favour of Fisherwomen co operative.
- 5000 fisherwomen in Madhubani district have been made technically proficient in carrying out fisheries related operations.
- Formulation of one District level Fisheries Federation called‘Sahyogini Mahila Matsyajivi Sahyog Samiti’
- 1000 women trained on Modern Fish Farming methods.
- Supply of good quality fish seed being provided to the co operative members.
- Convergence of the govt. schemes – 117 Machua Awas provided to the 117 beneficiary through Mukhya Mantri Awas Yojna.
- Formation/Rejuvenation of 1000 Fisherwomen SHG groups.
- Realising of Infrastructure rights over the common water bodies to marginalized communities, in several cases this is achieved through institutional bidding (by the institutions of the poor) providing access to individuals.
- Established community managed Fisheries(production and marketing) Resource centre at Block level providing a platform for knowledge dissemination, organizing local fish/fingerling production and providing a trading platform for fish farmers and traders and local vendors.
- Established decentralised fish nurseries for fingerling/advanced fingerlings or even stunted fingerling production for realising the fish potential of seasonal water bodies.
- Established local market outlets to sell clean fish by promoting fish vending.
- Standardised institutional design, technical and financial protocols and process map for scaling up.
Structure for federation of cooperative society at District level:-
Panchayat Block District
9 elected 3 elected from For Federation –
members each Panchayat members elected
of Panchyat level co-operative from each block
level co-operative society. level co-operative