After Girija withdrew 10,000 rupees (about £100) from her bank account, she and her son Dilip went to the market to buy fishing nets. It was something they had long been planning to buy and were already borrowing money from relatives and the bank. Girija is one of the cash beneficiaries of the project.
1,240 flood-affected families like Girija’s were supported with unconditional cash grants to help them recover from the floods. These were given to the families which are mostly women-headed, have members with disabilities, and who belong to the lower status schedule caste and schedule tribe.
Dilip is the only son of Girija and the major earner for the family. He used to work on a house-boat, but the income was dependent on the tourist season and after the floods, their number decreased so with no other option, Dilip thought about changing his profession to fishing.
With the new nets, Dilip and his assistant now start fishing at around 3am and continue for 5-6 hours, depending on the weather.
“We had to borrow less money to buy nets as we had already received the cash. I usually catch 3-4 kg fish and sometimes around 10 kg. However, the fish have decreased after the floods, so I had to buy two kinds of nets to catch both the big and small fish”, he explains.
Girija and her husband had worked hard to manage their household expenses. Sadly, he passed away when she was only 26 leaving her to look after her young son and agriculture became her only source of income. When the flood waters started rising, initially, they raised the platform of the house. However, the level continued rising, so they packed what they could and left home. unfortunately, upon returning, they found the water had washed almost everything away.
“We had to borrow less money to buy nets as we had already received the cash’
“At least I have a regular income now and I don’t have a boss to report to or a fixed time to work. If I have the money, I want to start a shop later as it is a good business but takes bigger investment. We are very thankful to you all who came to help us. It was unexpected and a great relief,” said Dilip.
Find out more: our humanitarian response work in Kerala