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Women find their footing in tourism in flood-ravaged Kuttanad

Paraphrased heading .. Kuttanad women find a life line through tourism in the aftermath of the flood

While a group of six has opened water sports and entertainment park at a waterlogged paddy polder, others have opened cafeterias, health tourism clinic

Paraphrased sub-heading .. A swathe of water-logged land now boasts of water sports facilities, entertainment parks, cafeterias and health tourism clinics, thanks to the enterprising spirit of just six women.

As Kuttanad is still trying to recover from the economic aftermath of the epic deluge in 2018, several women who lost their livelihood are finding their footing in the tourism sector with the support of the Kudumbashree Mission.

Paraphrase text …Kuttanad is still trying to erase the scars left by the devastating floods of 2018. The calamity robbed many women of their livelihood, but they have fought back successfully to reshape their ravaged land to a tourist spot.

A group of six women recently opened a water sports and entertainment park at Payattupakka in Neelamperoor grama panchayat. Another all-woman team set up a health tourism clinic at Pulinkunnu, while other groups have donned the role of tourism providers, opened cafeterias under the common name ‘Nalumani Kattu’, ‘Pournami’ restaurants and so on in different parts of the region known for its vast paddy fields, picturesque backwaters and a large network of canals.

Paraphrased text …..Payattupakka in Neelamperoor grama panchayat now has a water sports and entertainment park started by six highly enterprising women. Similarly, Pullinkullu has a health tourism facilty, also started by a few women entrepreneurs. To supplement these ventures, another group of women have opened large food chains around the district under the common names of ‘Nalumani Kattu’, ‘Pournami’. The area with its sprawling paddy fields, beautiful backwaters and labyrinth of canals looks so scenic to the visitors.

“The economic consequences of the 2018 floods were quite sharp. We lost our means of livelihood and were facing an uncertain future when authorities suggested the idea of a water sports park. Apart from providing technical support, the government helped us bankroll the project. The venture is helping us achieve financial stability,” says Sherly Rajendran, a member of the team.

Paraphrased text …..The cataclysmic floods of 2018 broke the economic backbone of the people. The idea of starting water sports park was seeded by the authorities as a way to rebuild the lives of people who were facing a looming existential crisis after the floods. The authorities provided both technical advice and facilitated sanction of bank loans. Shely Rajendran, a newbie entrepreneur, unhesitatingly declares that the venture has restored their lost economic strength.

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Activities on offer

The park, opened on April 25 on a large waterlogged paddy polder, is offering visitors kayaking, pedal boat, dinghy, and kotta vanchi (coracle) services. The water sports activities will soon be moved to a tributary of the Pampa river at Aakkanadi in the same local body where a Kudumbashree unit is setting up a restaurant. Once moved there, more activities including kite flying, fishing and a host of adventure activities will be offered to tourists.

The water sports park and related activities have been funded under the Rebuild Kerala Initiative-Entrepreneurship Development Programme (RKI-EDP). “The project is a joint initiative of the Kudumbashree Mission, RKI-EDP and Veliyanad block panchayat. It provides Kudumbashree members in the area with livelihood means. All the women including those involved in water sports and adventure tourism are provided proper training,” says Chinchu Soman, microenterprise consultant, RKI-EDP Veliyanad block.


Officials of the Kudumbashree Mission say the efforts are opening up new tourism destinations in the region and promoting local economic development. As many as 136 women, almost all of them from inland fisherfolk families, have benefitted in the first phase of Kudumbashree’s tourism initiative for livelihood. “People of Kuttanad need support to restore their livelihood. Kudumbashree members are exploring new opportunities without disturbing its fragile ecology,” says Prasanth Babu J., Kudumbashree Mission district coordinator.


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