Disabled fishermen cast for help
Enthusiastic fisherman, Karrim Shaik Moosa, 57, is looking forward to participating in the Quad-Para KZN fishing competition on Saturday at the Durban naval base on Salisbury Island. Photo Credit: Marylin Bernard.
"A Chatsworth fishing enthusiast has told about the difficulties disabled fishermen face trying to gain access to several popular fishing spots in Durban."
Karrim Shaik Moosa, 57, hopes their plight will be brought into the spotlight during the eighth annual Quad-Para KZN fishing competition on Saturday at the Naval base Durban on Salisbury Island. The Quad-Para Association intends to encourage relationships between people with disabilities, (among themselves) and with the general public.
Moosa, who is wheelchair bound, said the municipality should create accessible fishing areas for them.
He would be participating in the competition for the eighth consecutive year.
“I have been fishing since the age of 10 with my father. We were regular fishermen in the harbour on the South Pier.
“Now there are many restrictions. I have my fishing permit but many of the facilities are not wheelchair friendly. Fishing is prohibited on the piers, Grunter Gully, and the harbour piers.
“It’s frustrating casting a line; when you are reeling it in, the hook grabs on to the rocks because we cannot get close enough to the shoreline,” he said.
Moosa, a father of four daughters, was the victim of a hijacking outside his Crossmoor home on July 4, 1994. The bullet went through his arm and into his spine. The hijackers have not been arrested.
“It is difficult to explain the emotions we go through when we are fishing. I am excited and preparing for the competition. It’s a special occasion when I can fish alongside people like me. I am grateful for the organisers and sponsors for the initiative. If they can have it monthly I would be more than happy,” Moosa said.
Frank Kruger, Quad-Para Association spokesman, invited the public to the fun day from 5.30am to 2pm.
“It gives one a new perspective on life. This competition is solely for persons with disabilities. Only anglers with disabilities. We are expecting 150 anglers with disabilities and therefore would need about 350 helpers to host this event,” Kruger said.
Kruger said they depended on public and corporate donations to make the event a success. They also need prizes and goody bags for the disabled anglers.
“In 2008 a small group of about 10 persons with disabilities and 20 volunteers were invited to a Trout Fishing Competition at a private dam in Nottingham Road. For some it was the first time since their accident that they had been invited to such an event specially held for them.
“Everyone enjoyed the day and lots of new friendships were formed. It was then decided to form an organisation that could assist these persons with disabilities,” Kruger said.
For further information, contact Frank Kruger at 0317017444, 0839684669 or email@example.com