Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Letter from Yaaminey Mubayi on Livelihoods in Punjab and Orissa

"Gurmeet [Rai] and I are busy with our crafts village in Amritsar- this is the one I "discovered" while doing research for another project- a settlement of traditional metal workers who had migrated from Pakistan in 1947. We are developing the area as an Endogenous Tourism destination.

I am also doing a project in coastal Orissa- Tourism as an alternative livelihood to combat the problems of overfishing of Chilika Lake, in 8 villages along the coast. The gender issue to flag here is the fact that women have lost their traditional livelihood as the sellers of the fish, now that commercial interests have reduced the fishermen to wage labour, rather than individual owners of boats and other assets. Think of the plight of widows and wives of retired fishermen, who are literally starving, no traditional safety nets for them! Am working with some Self Helf Groups to develop crafts- some excellent bamboo and golden grass weaving done by fisherwomen!

Here are a couple of photos of the region, including of an old lady who lives off temple offerings.

Cheers and Best Wishes for a marvelous year ahead."