14 Dec Odisha, India
Odisha’s (Orissa) 482 km coastline has been blessed with abundant marine resources which support 38,000 small-scale fishers. The beaches in Odisha are largely sandy and are well known as “Arribada” beaches, where thousands of olive ridley sea turtles come every year to nest. Due to a number of factors, Odisha is one of the poorest states in India. The depletion of marine resources, annual cyclones and poverty cycles have forced many fishers to rely on illegal moneylenders and local traders, resulting in further indebtedness. The Samudram Women’s Federation (SWF) began in 1993 as a response to conservation and livelihood challenges faced by the small-scale fishers. The SWF monitors and protects the endangered olive ridley turtles through habitat restoration, artificial reef construction and sustainable fishing practices. They have worked to reduce the region’s poverty through income diversification, a financial literacy program and by distributing low cost infrastructure and fishing equipment. Additionally, the SWF is empowering woman through education, capacity building, training and networking.
See below for the Odia language abstract for this community story.