Demonetization and Fishermen of Rameshwaram

Under the Pamban bridge is a collection of buildings surrounding an empty space. The ground is covered in tarpaulin sheets on which are placed varieties of fish. People throng the fringes of the tarpaulin sheets. There is constant talk and hollering. The time is nine o’clock and it is the time of business.

But for the past few months business has been dull. Demonetization has affected the fishing folks. Fish exchanges hands through auction and therefore ready cash is necessary to seal the deal. Daily wage laborers are at a disadvantage because they too need to be the cash.

Manoj, exporter of fishes, photo credit: Rohit Remesh

Manoj, an exporter of fishes, says, “The life of fishermen is unpredictable. Sometimes they get what they want; sometimes they don’t.” Manoj, himself is a MBA graduate. After working overseers for a few years he returned to take care of his father’s business. Business has been dull for Manoj. “Fishermen are not even going to the sea to catch fish. Fish stock is going to waste.”

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