Standing at the Pipavav Port in Gujarat, one can see an island far away. This island is Shiyal Bet situated in Jafarabad taluka, Amreli, Gujarat. The residents of Shiyal Bet say the opportunity of fishing brought them to the island. Fishing has been the only source of livelihood for the Koli community. The port towns in the vicinity serve as trading spots for the business. The island with around 800 households and a population of 6000 did not have electricity services until 2016 when the government finally acted upon the need for it. The temples and fish drying areas are situated at distance on the periphery of the island.
A visit to this island can make you appreciate your life better. We, the city dwellers, stay in an environment much comforting than this fishermen community. They have to travel across the sea into their neighboring towns in order to buy basic amenities. Adding to this, the boat service stops after 6 pm and it becomes arduous during emergencies to move to the other side. People living in Shiyal bet still curse their fate with misty eyes.