Home they brought her seafarers dead, hopes diminishing for fishermen community

As wait drags on, hopes of seeing loved ones return is diminishing. For women of the coast, the plight is all too familiar.

Published: 11th December 2017 02:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th December 2017 10:50 AM   |  A+A-

Scenes from the venue of fishermen protest at Idinthakarai village in Tirunelveli

Express News Service

NAGERCOIL: Life on the shores can be a tricky affair. More so for the seafaring community, whose livelihood, and to an extent lives, depend upon the mercy of the sea. As waves splash the shores of Chinnathurai, a teary-eyed woman keeps a lookout for two persons, missing in the aftermath of the havoc wreaked by Ockhi.

For 28-year-old Ramsha, sea had been a source of sustenance. Now, Ramsha holds closely to her bosom her nine-month-old baby, whose father died in a mid-sea mishap in October last.

the coastal hamlets of Kanniyakumari on Sunday | Express

A resident of Chinnathurai coastal village near Thoothoor in Kanniyakumari district, Ramsha, a BSc graduate, looks upon future with apprehension. Her brother and brother-in-law had embarked on a fishing trip on November 30. She is yet to hear a word about them.

For Ramsha, tragedy came in droves. First, her husband died when an unidentified ship capsized his boat while fishing off the Kerala coast. Now, her brother Rahesh and brother-in-law Anto Jain have gone missing.

Holding her two children, including a nine-month-old baby, a disconsolate Ramsha told Express her father Remmias was tagging along with her husband Antony when a ship capsized their boat on October 11. The officials could retrieve only Antony’s body. Her entire family – two sisters, a brother and mother – now stare at an uncertain future.

Rahesh and Anto Jain had taken up the responsibility of looking after the family. “They ventured into the sea in the early hours of November 30 from Chinnathurai in a country-made boat. The cyclone alert was sounded after their departure. However, they did not return. It’s been over a week now,” Ramsha says.

The deaths of Antony and Remmias brought another problem in their wake. Apart from losing two loved ones, the family also lost out on compensation. “It’s the uncertainty that worries us. Every second is a painful reminder of our loss,” she adds. Anto Jain’s wife, the elder sister of Ramsha, says that her three children have been waiting for their father. “We are in a state of shock. How can we answer the questions three innocent children ask,” she asks.  Ramsha’s younger sister Rebisha, a BA English Literature student, says, “The authorities failed to help us. Our future looks bleak,” she added.

Meanwhile, International Fishermen Development Trust (INFIDET) president P Justin Antony said that like Ramsha’s family, there were many others awaiting their missing ones. With each passing day, their hopes diminish. But, you never know when the angry mother softens up and pours her love. Till that time, the wait will continue.

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