India’s First Licensed Fisherwoman Is Both Braving the Sea & Breaking Old Norms: In this article we will be read the story of an extra-ordinary woman Rekha. Life of people who are living in the coastal villages of Kerala has revolved around fishing from such a long time.
The people who ventured into the deepest seas work, they mostly deal with turbulent tempests which can bring a bountiful haul.
While women were expected to remain at their shore-lined settlements they should pray for their husband’s safety and all who goes for the fish hunting.
Here we will be talking about a fisherwoman, Chettuva in Thrissur, she is coming from the fishing hamlet just refused to believe and bind with the age-old norms and taboos about the fishermen community.
And today she is aka KC Rekha is an exceptional and only licensed deep-sea fisherwoman in India.
This a 20-year-old single-engine boat, Rekha undertaking into the deep and rough waters of Arabian Sea where she is bravely fighting with the odds from the time when she had stepped and decided to join her husband P Karthikeyan in this fishing business around 13 years ago.
The couple has been surviving and living in this fickle tides on a daily basis with the steadfast belief that Kadalamma without even a GPS Device, compass, life jackets or even any kind of modern navigation equipment, the sea goddess untouchable by numerous fishermen communities, so they arrive in the home safely anyway.
Among the fishing community, people take this profession very seriously as it is the only source of their income.
And Rekha is a kind of women who take her profession very seriously and she is doing this in order to give ensure that her children will get a proper life and she is also keen to help her husband.
For Rekha her journey was not so easy, though, she did this only to support her husband but still, she faced downright dismissal by fellow community members.
But this attitude of her community reportedly did not break the spirit of the Rekha and she remained adamant and went on to take the revolutionary path with determined and full support from her husband.
Rekha and Karthikeyan have an exceptional and beautiful story of their marriage. Having met during a Hindi course, the duo gradually fell in love with each other; however, both of them faced some objections and restrictions from their respective family.
Still, they hitched leave their respective homes and start a new life with each other in the new homes near the seashore and get engaged in the fishing business for the survival.
Rekha was initially suffered from seasickness; eventually took it upon herself to learn even the most basic of fishing skills from her husband and finally and gradually she proved herself in this field.
“She can sniff the presence of a shoal of fish, swim against the current and lay her net quickly. She is better than me in doing that. She can give you lessons on the habits and paths of fish such as sardine, tuna, mackerel and sea bass,” Karthikeyan proudly told Hindustan Times.
This was her national recognition went viral at the time when the expansive research done by Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), followed by a painstaking and the report declares that Rekha was found to be the lone woman in the whole nation where the fishing is done by her along with deep waters of the coastline.
“It was a tedious search. There are many women engaged in fishing in backwaters and rivers, but no record of a woman’s presence in fishing along our coastline was available. We have done an extensive search and finally spotted her and recognized her feat,” CMFRI director A Gopalakrishnan stated.
Identifying her resilience and grit, Rekha was felicitated by the Union minister of state for agriculture Sudarshan Bhagat in the last April at the function.
The event also gives Rekha the first ever fisherperson license in the nations and her achievement is indeed dedicated to all women, as Rekha is the first women of the country to have this honor.
Needleless to say the couple also received the technical and financial help and support by CMFRI so that they can start the cage farming in the fringes of the pier and the couple will be also going to have the supplied of the cage and fish seedlings as well.
The agency also helped to get their eldest daughter, Maya, a Class 12 student, a scholarship of ₹1 lakh.
The journey of Life for Rekha and her husband was not so easy, the duo indeed has been struggling a lot but Rekha has no qualms about the choice she had taken more than a decade ago and now she said that her love for her profession is endless and incredible.
“What we need is a new boat with a double outboard engine and a new set of nets. I am sure I can steer my family out of the financial mess and provide good education to my children,” Rekha said.
Rekha is a perfect example of the fact that being a woman you can break the glass ceiling by sailing into the deep sea to take the burden of her family’s sustenance, and also improve the same.
Rekha stands tall as a fisherwoman, and present the perfect example of it that “Where there is will there is way”, so each woman should come forward to show her skills, as everybody in the world is blessed with some kind of quality.
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