Theeramythri Councils

An important milestone in the Theeramythri programme was the formation of local level bodies for the management of the Theeramythri initiatives. These bodies called ‘Theeramythri Managment Councils-TMC’ comprise of Gram Panchayat officials, ward members, officials from the Fisheries department, representatives of Theeramythri entrepreneurs, and Kudumbashree representatives. The TMCs monitor and guide the performance of the local initiatives in a decentralised and participative manner.

The TMCs were provided special legal status and funds for their meaningful existence and functioning. Strengthening of the Theeramythri Management Councils as institutions concerned with the governance of Theeramythri activity groups at the local body level has been proposed as an important strategy for ensuring sustainability. This would include targeted capacity building programmes for the leaders and officer bearers of TMCs.

At present there are 112 TMCs working along the coastline. New TMCs will have to be formed as new groups evolve in inland fishing areas. In all there would be around 120 TMCs looking after the activity groups within their LSGI limits. Revolving funds are administered through the TMCs. In addition, TMCs are also engaged in regular monitoring of activities. There are training programmes – technical as well as organisational – that are organised at the TMC level. They need to be strengthened to deliver their functions effectively. This is the rationale behind this component.

Chairman of TMC is the President/Chairman/Mayor of the local body and the treasurer is the Matsyabhavan officers of Fisheries Department. Convenor of the TMC is the members of the groups in that local body. For the Strengthening of Theeramythri Management Councils (TMCs) and developing them into agencies of governance looking after the activity groups within the boundaries of their LSGIs has been accorded top priority from the early stages of the project. With the powerful LSGI network and governance systems of Kerala, TMCs could emerge as key agencies concerned with the sustainability of the activity groups.

The TMC’s started functioning in 2010 as a basic building block of the institutional structure. The structure of the TMC is designed in such a way that group members will get the opportunity to decide upon the various issues related with their own lively hoods. By utilizing the fund, TMC’s can engage a qualified Accountant, preferably from locally, qualified for accounting the groups regularly and capable of the group members to keep their accounts upto date by themself. The decision for engagement of the accountant is to be taken in the PLTMC meeting and should be informed to the Nodal Officer. The fund also can be used for the day to day expenses of TMC’s and conducting meetings etc. Maximum Assistance of Rs.25000/- can be provided to each PLTMC in this head.