by Bharath

This feature is part of a series by Voyance addressing coastal erosion, homelessness and displacement amongst indigenous coastal populations in Thiruvananthapuram/South Kerala.

Little Flower’s home in Kochuthoppu fishing village, near Sangumugham beach, faced severe devastation in the 2019 heavy rains and subsequent sea turbulence. The steady coastal erosion witnessed in the past decade in the region has contributed significantly to this disaster.

On November 21′ 2023, World Fisheries Day, an independent committee led by Dr. K. V. Thomas (Former Dean, Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences) released a scientific study report on the impact of the Vizhinjam International Seaport (VISL) Project. The committee also included other experts like, Probir Banerjee, Sarita Fernandez, Dr. John Kurien, Terry Machado, Dr. K.G. Thara and Dr. Johnson Jament. The report, officially released by prominent historian Ramachandra Guha, addressed and highlighted the ecological, social, economical, environmental and biodiversity impact of the Vizhinjam port project on the marine ecosystem and the indigenous coastal communities in Thiruvananthapuram.

Little Flower and her family’s account has been cited in the report to highlight the grave issue of coastal erosion leading to devastation and homelessness. This feature attempts to raise awareness on that subject, as well as bring to light the firsthand experiences of families like Little Flower’s.

By Bharath