Fisherwomen offer prayers to Ganga ahead of fishing season in Visakhapatnam

Visakhapatnam: Carrying gleaming brass and steel pots filled with milk, water and flowers over their heads, fisher women set off to offer prayers to Goddess Gangamma on Tuesday.

A beehive of activity was witnessed at Fishing Harbour as the community joined the folk artistes performing dance that formed a part of the annual ritual followed for years ahead of the onset of the fishing season.

Fisher women who took part in the jatara said that a sense of insecurity grips them when their men set out on a voyage for fishing and that the ritual aims at appeasing sea Goddess to save their men from any natural calamity and seeking her blessings. They have been following the ritual since 2005 after Tsunami left a devastating impact on many lives.

Impressive folk dances accompanied by foot-tapping drum-beats added flavour to the jatara which was celebrated with fervour and gaiety among the community. "Gangamma jatara is commemorated by fishermen to mark the beginning of the fishing season.

Apart from a safe venture into sea, fisher women also offer prayers for a good catch and safe voyage of their men," said P. Vijaychander, former president of AP Mechanised Fishing Boat Operators Association.

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