Husband (deceased), Father-in-law, Mother-in-law
Nolia Nuagaon, Ganjam, Odisha
Tiruppur and Hyderabad
Daily wage labourers at construction sites
It had been four years since her husband, D.Mukodu, passed away. One day, at sea, during high tide, waves lashed at his boat, causing him and his crew to have an accident. Mukodu sustained several injuries due to this and passed away during his treatment back onshore. D. Paidama, the 26-year fisherwoman, is now alone, without even the company of her in-laws. Her father-in-law, D.Simhadri (70), and mother-in-law D.Kammana (62) have migrated from their coastal village of Nolia Nuagaon in Ganjam district, Odisha, and work as laborers to support themselves and their daughter-in-law.
D.Simhadri and D.Kammana at their home in Nolia Nuagoan, Ganjam. Photo by B. Rajama.
Adding to the misery are swarms of mosquitoes and flies, the availability of poor quality and often unsanitary food and water, not what an old couple must endure in their later years.
Simhadri and his wife Kammana migrated to Tiruppur and Hyderabad, where they are employed as daily wage laborers. They work as daily wage laborers on construction sites. In addition to the challenges of living there, they are forced to live in tin sheds, which leave them vulnerable to the elements and the sweltering heat. Adding to the misery are swarms of mosquitoes and flies, and the availability of poor quality and often unsanitary food and water, not what an old couple must endure in their later years.
Some years ago, when his son was alive, Simhadri was an active fisherman in his village. Despite having a meager income, he relied on the supplementary income from his son, a good fisherman. The family lived relatively happily without any significant problems that Paidama could recall.
“My in-laws, who are fisher people, mother-in-law, and father-in-law, would not have left for other states as laborers and would not be suffering as much as they are now if my husband were still alive. They would be here, at their home”, says D.Paidama remarking at the empty house and the sudden turn of their peaceful life and the upturned fortunes of this fishing village.
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