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Fishermen, boatmen of Kashi to press NOTA

Fishermen, boatmen of Kashi to press NOTA
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The boatmen, fishermen and Bind communities of Varanasi have decided to exercise the ‘None of the Above’ (NOTA) during polling on May 12th as “no government, neither state nor central expressed eagerness to resolve issues related to [their] communities”.

In a communitarian decision, 1.5 lakh of boatmen, fishermen and Bind communities of Kashi have decided to exercise the ‘None of the Above’ (NOTA) during polling on May 12th. The decision was made in a panchayat held under the banner of Maa Ganga Nishadraj Seva Samiti, UP.
Vinod Kumar Nishad ‘Guru’ said that they decided to use NOTA as “no government, neither state nor central expressed eagerness to resolve issues related to [their] communities”. He added that it was a collective decision by the community heads of 84 ghats, Sarai Mohana, Ramnagar and Sujabad. “There are around 1.5 lakh voters of these communities,” he said.
He continued to say that even after 56 years of independence, no government or political party has taken notice of their plight. “Promises are doled out during elections only to be forgotten later,” Nishad said, on the condition of Varanasi’s boatmen’s and fishermen’s age-old tradition of service to the society.
The communities demand inclusion of Nishad, Bind and Machchuara in SC category, a public holiday on Nishadraj Jayanti, basic facilities to be provided to people living below the poverty line, primary schools for children and restriction on boating only after the water level of the river Ganga crosses the danger mark. They also want license for motorboat operation and withdrawal of the restriction on fishing in Ganga.
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