Waxing Livelihoods of Kolis (Fisherfolks) of Mumbai? Symposium – 1

Waxing Livelihoods of Kolis (Fisherfolks) of Mumbai? Symposium – 1

On this yearly celebration of Narali Paurnima/ Coconut Day, fisherfolks of Mumbai start fishing in the sea after a long three months of break, this is an auspicious day, and we are beginning a new endeavor to engage with the Koli community. Tandel Fund Of Archives invites you to an informative conversation about new possibilities of occupation for the fisherfolk community of Mumbai in these Climate Change crises.

Waxing Livelihoods of Kolis (Fisherfolks) of Mumbai? Symposium-1 Is Two year-long series of informative discussions for the Koli/fisherfolk community of Mumbai, it will investigate the historic, existing, and forthcoming livelihood of these indigenous peoples who are original inhabitants of Greater Mumbai, Thane, and Navi Mumbai which together make Megalopolis

Kolis has fished in these seven islands since the Stone Age period. It is very important to understand why these tribes resided in these estuarial islands and flourish since ancient times or foremost human evolution. Ancient humans were nomads, they had to shift constantly in the quest for food security, Hunting and gathering was a basic need to survive, it was after the invention of agriculture, tribes around the world settled in fixed regions. Farming has changed the evolution of human history. But Kolis as a community, discern the ocean as the forest, which gave them most of the required nutrition. They would have figured out very earlier to inhabit in seven islands, learned occupational and life skills by engaging constantly with the ocean, Kolis still live hunters life which was prehistoric, but they also learned new knowledge of breeding fish in the ocean, not eating juvenile and eggs of fish, till Portuguese arrived or era of colonialism begun. And we can imagine centuries of solitude which lead to prosperity, This all-time prosperous life gave rise to rich cultural history, they have their living language which is the greatest example of their minimalist and naturalist sensibility, Kolis still knows they have their ocean gods with them as as greatest possession. Fishing in the ocean grew into full-time livelihood as the population around seven islands thrived, earlier they were fishing for themselves and bartering other daily life necessary supplies.

Since the past few centuries, visual has changed. They were so busy mending fishing nets, they could not see how the metropolis has grown around them which is encroaching into their sea-facing lands and self-sustainable livelihoods which were never have been part of the megalopolis. ‘City’ as Imperialist idea also bought with them climate change crises. Fishing which earlier thrived in Koli peoples Ocean, intertidal fishing grounds, and estuaries are now encountering negative impacts on their livelihood, because of the high rate of pollutants and metropolitan waste in water bodies around the seven islands.

Symposium-1 will focus on traditional livelihoods and multiple possibilities of new avenues which can be used to create enormous opportunities, Can we work together with the state and develop a new policy to control water pollution which has affected the ecosystem of Mumbai and Kolis. How we can use ocean and water bodies as assets? how we can generate long-term sustainable fishing practices? It is very important to think about food security in these unprecedented times, also how these vocations can generate revenue for the nation and state economies.

Further, this series will bring various minds working on the grassroots point and discuss each and many parallel possibilities for the future. We Kolis now have to change the way we think, TFA feels instead of learning new skills, why not continue what we know? it is always good to start closer, we are privileged to have sea-facing homes, estuaries, and ocean as our assets. We just have to use them sustainably. What are the primary stepping stones and hurdles which we have to think about?

Speakers for this panel are: Ajay Dayaram Nakhwa and Vikas Motiram Koli Moderated by : Tandel Fund Of Archives.

Speaker 1: Ajay Dayaram Nakhawa, Agricultural Research Services (ARS) Scientist, ICAR-CMFRI, Mumbai Centre of CMFRI. Before joining as scientists he was Senior Research Fellow at Maharashtra Animal and Fisheries Science University and Research Assistant at National Institute of Abiotic Stress Management, ICAR . He is first candidate to qualify and join the ARS from Fishermen Community in Maharashtra . Ajay is also connected in the social sphere for the upliftment of the Koli community and western coastal communities for the past few years. His vast and advanced knowledge of fisheries is beneficial to locals.

Speaker 2: Vikas Motiram Koli is passionate Koli social worker from Versova Koliwada. He has rich experience of working for 15+ years in corporate in various fields which includes branding, brand communication, experience design, design thinking, business development. He is full time social entrepreneur and eformer whose aim is to work for betterment of society through his various skills he owns. He likes to read, travel and write blog which makes him happy. Creating various brands of locals and taking them to global is what he believes. Global branding for Locals® is what his core belief and always works with the creativity from community for the community.

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