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India celebrates its first transgender seafood entrepreneur

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
15 March 2021, at 12:15pm

Adhidhi Achyuth has been recognised as “the first transgender person in India’s fisheries sector to start an entrepreneurial initiative”.

Adhidhi Achyuth at the official launch of her fish vending stall in Kochi
Adhidhi Achyuth at the official launch of her fish vending stall in Kochi

© CMFRI

The recognition comes from the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), who provided her with a modernised fish vending stall – which opened today – in Vennala market, in Kochi.

The 36-year-old decided to become an entrepreneur after undergoing difficult and unpleasant experience in securing a job and maintaining it as a means for living. Under the central government scheme of the Scheduled Caste Sub Plan (SCSP), CMFRI spent around ₹500,000 to set up the fish stall. It includes a freezer, a fish display table with cooler, billing machine, scales and other facilities for cutting and cleaning the fish, along with the facility for maintaining the fish in live and fresh conditions.

Live fish, from sources including aquaculture facilities, will be available form the fish stall, which was inaugurated by the cine artists Harisree Ashokan and Molly Kannamally. Apart from direct sale, home delivery of the cleaned and sealed packets of fish will be available for the pre-booked customers.

Dr K Madhu, chairman of the SCSP scheme and principal scientist of the CMFRI, handed over the key of the stall to Adhidhi at the function.

“CMFRI have been providing training to become small-scale entrepreneurs in cage fish farming to the people belonging to the SC communities across the country,” he said.

According to Dr A Gopalalkrishnan, director of CMFRI, the institute turned to Achyuth, who is part of the scheduled caste (SC) community, as the second phase of implementing the SCSP scheme focused on transgender members of the community.

“This is part of CMFRI’s aim to gender mainstreaming of the transgender members, who are the most marginalised community in the society, by generating livelihood opportunities in the fisheries sector. The CMFRI will extend the service of the scheme to more transgender members in the SC community. The institute also aims to empower the transgender members by attracting them to cage fish farming in the future by giving them proper technical guidance,” he said.