A story of a struggling mother – fishing to feed her two children

A story of a struggling mother – fishing to feed her two children

A story of a struggling mother – fishing to feed her two children

Written by Lahiru Fernando

14 Mar, 2016 | 10:34 pm

Shanthakumari, a fisher-woman and a mother of two daughters. She is not a fisher-woman by choice but desperation. She goes fishing every morning, bearing her oar and fishing gear in a desperate battle to make ends meet. She lives in the rural village of Vavunathivu, Batticaloa with her two Feature 1daughters in a house which was left destroyed during the war.

With every step she takes, -walking toward the lagoon which is the only resource that gives her hope… her heart beats hard with anxiety as she grapples with much doubt, wondering if she will be lucky enough to find fish to survive the day.

For most who live in the developed parts of the island, being 15 years old means school, education, friends, playing on the streets and looking forward to a bright future as they set their eyes on the upcoming Ordinary Level exams. But for Shanthakumari, her education at theFeature 3 age of 15 was learning how to fish. A skill she used as her tool for survival.

The father of her two children, the man who she though would be her lifeline, is now mentally ill, entrusting her to bear the brunt of her family.

When News 1st came across Shanthakumari, she said that she would set out to the lagoon and would spend almost 5 hours a day in the scorching sun without having anything to eat, not by choice but because it is the only option to keep her children fed. Even after spending Five long hours under the scorching sun, she finds only around Rs. 200 worth of fish each day.

Scraping through every bit of strength that is left in her, Shanthakumari strives every day to provide a better living for her two daughters.

Is there hope for a better future in the horizon for Shanthikumari, her ill husband and the two daughters? only time will tell….

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