Prominent fishing community leader T Peter succumbs to COVID-19

T Peter was under treatment for COVID-19 at Government Medical College Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram and passed away on Thursday night.
T Peter
T Peter
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Prominent leader of Kerala’s coastal community and General Secretary of National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF), T Peter passed away on Thursday night in Thiruvananthapuram. He was under treatment for COVID-19 at the Government Medical College Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram. Peter was 62.

T Peter is known for his tireless efforts to bring the issues of the fishing community to the forefront throughout his life. From the apprehensions of the fishermen on the new proposed shipping corridor mooted by the Union government, to the issues of coastal erosion, T Peter had been vocal in almost all the issues of the communities. His efforts had also been prominent in almost all the appraisals of the community. He was also vocal for the welfare of small-scale artisanal fishers and had raised his voice against the ill-effects of incessant trawling.

Peter is a native of Veli in Thiruvananthapuram. He is also the former president of Kerala Swatantra Matsya Thozhilali Federation, which is the trade union of small-scale artisanal fishers. He was also the editor of Alakal magazine.

According to reports, he was admitted in hospital after being diagnosed with COVID-19 on October 3. He was reportedly on ventilator support after he developed pneumonia. Even weeks before his death, he had been leading a protest in Kollam against the proposed shipping corridor.

Peter had also stood in support of the people of Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu against the nuclear power plant. From activists to journalists, many from across the country have come out expressing grief over his death.

Kerala Minister for Fisheries, J Mercykutty Amma expressed shock at Peter’s death. “His unforeseen demise is shocking. He has been instrumental in organising the unorganised fishers sector at a national level. In each crucial moment, Peter had been responsible in taking the right decisions. His demise is an irreplaceable loss for the fishing community,” Minister Mercykutty Amma wrote on Facebook.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condoled the death stating that Peter was a persistent social worker who came forward to intervene in all the issues of the fishing community.

His funeral will be reportedly held at the St Xavier’s Church in Veli, abiding by the COVID-19 protocol

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