Located on the shores of the canal which connects to the Bay of Bengal and just 20 km from Kakinada belonging to the Tallarevu Mandal, Chinna boddu Palem is a village with a population of 2000 whose livelihood is fishing on paddle or 1⁄2 hp motor operated mini boats. With a rich history of various government projects and other research methodologies that were implemented by both the central and state governments, Chinna boddu Palem still remains a place far from any assistance to the projects that were started by the government or other voluntary organizations. Although this village has great potential and good infrastructure such as government operated Primary & High Schools, a library, Community Hall and above all a great team of hardworking and motivated men with a culmination of age and experience under the dynamic leadership of Mr.Narisimha Raju ex-sarpanch who are always willing to assist those who are offering to help in order to make the people living in the village become self sustaining, there is hardly any focus that was put on the sustainability of either the projects that were initiated or on the individuals especially women who are the breadwinners of house during the time when men aren’t allowed into the sea for fishing or during the time of cyclones or high tides.
The women of the village strongly believe in them contributing to the family just as their husbands. They specialize in making salted & smoked shrimps which is quite a time and energy consuming task in order to process the regular shrimp. The process is also highly health hazardous as they have to spend over 8 – 10 hours in a hut on closed from all four sides and as the shrimps are laid on a bamboo belt and a fire is lit underneath making the shrimp cook with the heat rather with direct fire. Spending so much time in the hut inhaling a lot of smoke has resulted in developing many respiratory and other health related problems. During the early 2000’s DRDO has initiated a project to give something called a “Jhithika” which is an iron box which consists of six shelves which is placed one above the other and another extra tray which is placed underneath the box for the fire to be lit. When the regular shrimps are placed in the Jhithika after being dried for days and salted, the shrimps are cooked with in a few hours. This equipment reduces all the health hazards, improves fire safety and also the time that is spent in the traditional Jithika which is the hut that they build in order to make these shrimps.
Rotary Club Kakinada team has personally visited Chinnaboddupalem and held discussions with the panchayath leaders and also with 5 ladies who are involved in making the salted & smoked shrimps out of the 15 families from that village . After a prolonged research, investigation and inquiry it is concluded that the provision of a better quality Iron Jhithika to the women in the village is ideal in order to help them make a living and also help them to become sustainable. They are now lying unused and cannot be repaired. Jithika costs Rs 41,000 each and we request you to generously contribute towards this project which would empower and enable them to live a safe and sustainable life.
Handing of Jithika(Iron Smoke Bin) to beneficiaries on July 6th, 2020 & Aug 15th
This project is featured on Rotary News Magazine cover page https://rotarynewsonline.org/rotary-news-august-2020/