When we talk about those going out into the sea for earning their livelihood through fishing, invariably the picture is always of a fisherman where the women stay back on the shores, looking after the household. That is how it is always – men have traditionally been the ones to venture out into the sea.
But one lone woman has changed that patriarchal image – 13 years ago Rekha started accompanying her husband on his fishing expeditions as a deck hand. Today, the 45 year old woman is India’s only licenced deep-sea fisherwoman. Coming from a fishing hamlet of Chettuva in Thrissur, Rekha and her husband venture out every day into the sea, without a compass, GPS device, life jackets or any kind of modern navigation equipment.
It was financial hardship which forced Rekha to take on a job which is still predominantly a men bastion. Rekha recently got this recognition and the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute provided the couple with financial and technical support. It also helped also helped to get their eldest daughter, Maya, a Class 12 student, a scholarship of Rs.1 lakh.
Rekha needs to be lauded for breaking the glass ceiling and hope she continues to stand tall, inspiring other women to follow her footsteps.