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Perspectives: A Tsunami Journal

Photo by Max Martin
Boat builder
Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu India

Soril Anbu Austin was born in a family of fisherfolk. He dropped out of merchant navy to take care of his father's large-scale fish trade and boat yard. The tsunami meant the loss of his brother's huge trawler, and his father's pick-up truck, but it also meant a demand to build more and more boats. He supervises his father's new unit and has launched over 300 fibreglass boats sponsored by NGOs, each costing about Rs 70,000. "Safety is a concern," Austin says. "A lot of people who had no experience in boats are getting boats as part of rehabilitation." There are reports of fishing accidents and injuries in the rocky coasts and rough seas that flank the southern cape of India. But the fishermen here, reputed to be the best and the boldest in the region, are undeterred. And they rarely use safety gadgets.
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