Use Of Pesticides Or Harmful Substances In Fish Drying: A Study On The Coast Of Purba Medinipur District, West Bengal

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Dr. Suman Kalyan Samanta
Dr. Arnab Kanti Ojha


Fishing is one of the major livelihood activities of traditional fishermen in the coastal region of Purba Medinipur district in West Bengal. Most of these traditional fishermen are lower-caste Hindus. In the traditional caste hierarchy, these traditional Hindu fishermen face various kinds of discrimination and unlawful activities. Poverty is their common feature. A large number of traditional fishermen depend on the traditional petty trade of fish drying. Earlier, they used only traditional technologies and did not depend on harmful substances (especially various pesticides or insecticides) to dry or preserve fish in a short time. Recently, the technology and methods of drying fish have changed a lot for fishermen in coastal regions. Nowadays, traditional fishermen often use various harmful substances such as pesticides or insecticides to dry the fish quickly, to preserve it for a longer period and to dry it during the rainy season or in other humid climatic conditions. Most of these substances have serious health impacts. The present work attempted to determine the health impacts of fish drying workers who work in khoti areas (fish drying centres where fishermen are engaged in fish drying) and are involved to some extent in this chemical-driven fish drying process. The study was conducted among the traditional fishermen engaged in fish drying and petty trading in different khoti areas of Purba Medinipur district in West Bengal. It is mainly a field observation-based work in which various traditional methods of fieldwork were used with due importance

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Author Biographies

Dr. Suman Kalyan Samanta

Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, & Coordinator, PG Department of Social Work (MSW), Mahishadal Girls' College, Mahishadal, Purba Medinipur, West Bengal

Dr. Arnab Kanti Ojha

Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry & Coordinator, Department of Environmental Studies, Mahishadal Girls' College, Mahishadal, Purba Medinipur, West Bengal