RAMANATHAPURAM: Winmalar, mother of Erson, waits in vigil on the Pamban shores for the return of her son, one of three fishermen who have gone missing in the sea, since August 25.
Sadly, Winmalar’s husband, Libert went missing nearly a decade ago and Winmalar now faces the prospect of losing another member of her family to the sea.
Winmalar married Libert of Pamban when she was just 16. Two children, Esron and Esra were born to them. In 1996, Libert ventured into the sea for fishing along with his relative Selvam in a country boat. The boat sank due to heavy winds and they failed to return to shore. Fellow fishermen launched a search operation and on the third day, they recovered the lifeless bodies of the two fishermen. Not wanting to break the news to Winmalar, they buried Libert’s body without her knowledge.
Winmalar learned of her husband’s death after one month and decided to start working to support Esron’s education. She was helped by her parents.
Esron dropped out of school while in Class VIII as he realised his family was unable to support his education. In order to support his family he took to fishing despite Winmalar’s attempts to keep him in school. On August 25, he, along with John Kennedy, Daniel and Wilson took to the seas to fish.
They have been missing for three days.
Local women say Winmalar comes to the shore everyday, eagerly awaiting her son’s arrival.
ICG and CSG have mobilised personnel to scour the waters for the missing fishermen.
The fishermen of Pamban and the missing men’s kin observed a fast for three days to get the government’s attention.
Winmalar told Express over the phone that her son was a good swimmer and that he may have sought shelter in an island. She pleaded that the State government and the Central government should make adequate and speedy arrangements to bring her missing son back.