I admire what you do: Rahul Gandhi tells fishermen of Kerala

Kollam, Feb 24 (PTI):
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday turned seafarer and pulled the net with local fishermen in high sea here to get a taste of their life and understand the issues facing them. In an emotional talk with thousands of fisherfolk, including women gathered at the Thangassery beach in this southern coastal district, the Nehru scion said he admired and respected what the fishermen do.
“I understand and respect what you do. I admire what you are doing. Many times, we eat the fish but we will not understand the hard work behind and how it reached our plate,” Gandhi said.
The Wayanad MP ventured into the sea with some fishermen in their boat from Vadi beach here around 4.30 am and spent nearly an hour with them before reaching the venue of interaction. Gandhi also cast the net with them but could only catch one squid.
Clad in blue t-shirt and khaki trousers, the Congress leader could be seen waving hands to the onlookers from the boat while reaching back to the shores.
Addressing the fishermen as “brothers’ throughout his talk, he said he wanted to get a sense of what many of them go through every day. “I went to sea early in the morning with my brothers. From the moment the boat left the shore and till the moment it reached back the shore, every force was trying to fight my brothers,” he said.
Sharing his experience of sailing with the fishermen, Gandhi said they take the entire risk.
“They put their entire labour and fight the sea. They buy the net and somebody else gets the profit,” he said.
They threw the net and pulled it back out and there was one squid in it, he said.
“So the whole investment that was put into the boat, into the journey, the petrol within one minute, we saw there was no return. In my mind, I was expecting a net full of fish and the net came back empty. So I saw with my own eyes, your experience,” Gandhi added.
Highlighting hardships of fishermen, he said petrol and diesel prices go up every single day and the fishing community cannot buy an engine beyond a certain size.
He said the fishermen told him that if they come one hour late, they don’t get the same price they would get if they came one hour before.

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