Fisherwomen observe tsunami anniversary at Pedajalaripeta
Hundreds of women from several fishermen areas on Thursday wound their way through the narrow lanes of Pedajalaripeta with offerings to the sea god to spare them from devastating tsunami and save their men who go on to the sea for fishing. Colourfully dressed women with glistening vessels filled with milk or turmeric water, coconuts, bananas and flowers converged at Pedajalaripeta in the annual event ‘Gangamma jatara’ that began after the 2004 tsunami that shook the world. Water entered the fishing harbour sending shockwaves through the fishermen areas and giving a scare to citizens. The tragedy elsewhere made women take up the annual offering marking the anniversary of tsunami.Procession
Women from Pedajalariepta, Chinajalarieta and Fishing Harbour and other areas went to the sea shore in a procession accompanied by drumbeats. As the women poured onto the beach, it wore a festive look with women of cutting across age groups participating. The women consider, Ganga, the wife of Lord Siva symbolising water, as their goddess. The puja was performed with fervour with children also participating.
The women observing the jatara for successive years pray for their men folk who face odds on the high seas in the course of fishing. Every time there is a warning of cyclone or low pressure area, fishermen who generally go onto the sea for days together for fishing are caught in it and sometimes reach the shore after a hard time on the sea struggling in adverse weather. Once on the sea shore, they lined up their vessels in a long queue and a small pooja was performed. Later, they offered milk, turmeric water, coconuts, neem leaves flowers etc to the sea. For children accompanying them it was a holiday and opportunity to play on the beach.
MLA V. Ramakrishnababu participated in the festival.