A Church delegation led by His Excellency Archbishop Soosa Pakiam, the current Archbishop of the Latin Rite Archdiocese of Trivandrum met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to seek 3500 crore central package for Ockhi relief measures. The meeting held on 19th December 2017, focused on the sufferings and troubles faced by the fishermen and their families due to Ockhi cyclone. The delegation, in their petition, asked for several other assistance from the government, including forming Central ministry to coordinate and effectively manage coastal and fisheries affairs in the country.
As reported by ucanindia.in, the petition given by the Church said, “Over 6,030 fishermen were directly affected by the cyclone and among them 70 fishermen in Kerala are dead and 108 men in Kanyakumari district are reported dead, several are still missing.” Further, the Church said, “Central assistance would be needed for sustainable compensation fund for the deceased, the missing families and permanently disable families (300 crore), Satellite Tracking System and VHF Radio sets(80 crore), Marine Ambulances (70 crore), compensation for lost vessels and replacement of small vessels (800 crore) and disaster preparedness and rescue operations (250 crore).”
PM Modi spoke to over a dozen fisherwomen, fish workers’ representatives and Church leaders. He consoled them that all fishermen who have been stranded in the sea will be brought back before Christmas.