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Women power comes to fore

When men lost all hope and courage to venture out into the sea, it was women who sustained households.

india Updated: Dec 24, 2005 15:37 IST
Sovi Vidyadharan (PTI)
Sovi Vidyadharan (PTI)

The killer tsunami brought to fore women power in the fishing community and the need to avoid keeping all your eggs in one basket when it comes to vocation for livelihood.

When men lost all hope and even the courage to venture out into the sea, it was the women who sustained many households by taking up alternative vocations like candle- making, handicraft, pickle-making besides many others through Self Help Groups (SHGs).

"It was rather a necessity than a choice for the women to take up vocations which according to them were alien to their caste. However, when they realised its potential in sustaining many lives, they eagerly took to it," says Nagapattinam District Collector J Radhakrishnan.

Though around 842 SHGs were affected by the tsunami, the administration, through the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA), quickly revived them by training women in new skills to enable them to reclaim their lost livelihood.

"After the tsunami, my husband Palanivel had refused to go to the sea as he had seen three of his friends washed away by the waves. Since he did not know the skills needed for any other vocation, I had to take up candle-making," said Elaichi, a resident of Keechankuppam village in Nagapattinam.

"The income helped my family see through the tough days," she added.

First Published: Dec 24, 2005 02:38 IST