Rekha, wife of Karat Karthikeyan of Ethay, Engandiyoor in Thrissur district, is the first woman to receive a licence for deep sea fishing in India.
She started by fishing in the rivers on canoes and later joined her husband on a fibre boat in the deep sea.
“Initially, I had terrible seasickness and would be unwell for even four days,” says Rekha.
Gradually, Rekha overcame her problem and learnt to run the engine and navigation. She and husband Karthikeyan would leave home at 3 am and return in the afternoon.
Incidentally, Rekha can’t swim and believes that ‘Kadalamma’ (Sea mother) would protect her.
Recently, Karthikeyan developed a heart disease and Rekha ventures into the sea for fishing alone to make both ends meet for the family, which includes the couple’s four daughters.