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Youth for the Coast is a training programme for early to mid-career practitioners from various fields who intend to work on the various aspects of the ocean and coast in India. The aim is to bring together young people to develop their understanding and extend solidarity to civic action initiatives and organisations in their own capacity. 

Background

Fisheries is an important source of food, nutrition, employment and income in India. The sector provides livelihood to about 16 million fishers and fish farmers at the primary level and almost twice the number along the value chain. Recognising the importance of the sector, an independent Department of Fisheries was created in 2019 to provide sustained and focused attention towards the development of the fisheries sector. The fish production in India has registered an average annual growth rate of more than seven per cent in the recent years. The sector has been one of the major contributors of foreign exchange earnings with India being one of the leading seafood exporting nations in the world. 

In recent years, the number of policy shifts that have taken place in India especially on the environmental front is quite alarming when looked at from the perspective of the natural resource dependent communities. In this context, it is essential that the information for the fishworkers regarding their livelihood and the cost to the environment needs to be percolated to the ground. This makes it essential to build a support group which will be informed, aimed at assisting the fishworkers organizations to build up their perspectives to address the issues of the coast, environment and livelihood through an engagement with the research and policy matters related to the coast and environment.

Objectives

  1. To create a fundamental understanding of ocean and coast as an ecological system that supports livelihoods of people engaged in the small-scale fisheries sector.
  2. To develop an understanding of how the dynamics between ecology, socio-economic and socio-political aspects of the ocean and coast are linked.
  3. To introduce basic history of fisheries development in India and the narrative of struggle from people’s movements to contextualise discussions on present challenges.
  4. To give an overview of how law, policy, and governance of the ocean and coast are structured and are changing under the Blue Economy.

Youth for the Coast is specifically designed for the fishworkers, youth from coastal communities, researchers, media practitioners, interested in engaging with the issues of coast primarily from the nine coastal states from the Western and Eastern Coasts i.e. Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.

Team Members

Sonu P Yadav

Sonu is a development professional and an advocate of anti-caste movement. He has worked in various domains, including women empowerment in villages of Madhya Pradesh, child labour in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, right to education, homelessness, against land grab for the past 9 years. He

Roshni Ross

Roshni is a writer and poet from Bangalore with an MA in Sociology from Ambedkar University, Delhi. They are currently coordinating Youth for the Coast and is based out of Delhi.

Anil Tharayath Varghese

Anil is a development professional with more than one and a half decades of engagement with peoples’ organisations, civic initiatives, campaigns, policy and research initiatives in India. He was the coordinator of Delhi Forum. Prior to it, he has worked with Programme for Social Action and National Centre for Advocacy Studies. He serves as an advisor to the National Fishworkers Forum. He is the initiator of the Youth for the Coast.

Aswathy Senan

Aswathy is an independent researcher and translator. She has written various articles on contemporary social issues. She has obtained her PhD from University of Delhi. She has been closely associated with The Media Collective and The Research Collective based out of Delhi.

Savita Vijayakumar

Savita Vijaykumar is a political ecologist with a passion for the ocean and coasts. Her areas of interests are social justice and conservation in small scale fisheries; socio-ecological systems framework, legal pluralism and place-based learning pedagogy. She is currently associated with The Research Collective and based out of Goa.

Jibin Robin

Jibin is a development professional based out of New Delhi. He is the Coordinator of Friends of the Earth India. He has been working closely with various people’s movements, solidarity organizations and national network platforms across India, for over a decade. He has volunteered and worked in various capacities with NFF, NAPM, AIUFWP, PIPFPD and others.

Arun Mohan

Arun Mohan is the coordinator of the Media Collective and based out of Delhi. He has been part of various film initiatives with peoples movements in India.

Amit Kumar

Amit Kumar is an independent researcher with focus on natural resources, infrastructure and related legislation. He also works as a translator and simultaneous interpreter from English to Hindi language and vice-versa. He was associated with National Alliance of People’s Movements, Critical Action: Centre in Movement, Dalit Literature Festival, Delhi State Legal Services Authority, and Delhi Forum.

A special word of appreciation to Shibi Peter for designing logo and Amit Kumar & Chhavi Parasher for designing website. Shibi Peter can be reached at [email protected] Amit Kumar & Chhavi Parasher can be reached at [email protected] / [email protected]