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Ramesh proudly sends both his daughters to school

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Meet Ramesh, a fisherman-turned-carpenter in Tharangambadi, Tamil Nadu, who re-built his life after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and is happier for it today. He runs a successful woodworking business and is able to send both his daughters to school. “Earlier, as a fisherman, I might have afforded the education of only one of my daughters. Today, both are in school,” he says proudly.

After having lost his boats and fishing equipment during the tsunami, Ramesh was forced to turn to an alternative profession. After a few odd jobs, he chanced upon carpentry in 2009. “Fishing is the main occupation here and requires a lot of carpentry work. There was also no other carpenter here. So I decided to start my own shop.”

Ramesh bought a piece of land with his savings, but he needed more money to build a shed. “I approached HOPE foundation for their zero interest loans and got Rs 25,000 loan ($453). They also provided me with free tools.”

Once the shed was built, Ramesh hired three men, Silambarasan, Kalaiyarasan and Soundaraj. “We build and mend boats; we also make furniture like cupboards, beds, chair, etc. It is hard work, but the income is steady.” “Running my own business has given me confidence and security too.” Ramesh plans to expand in the near future.

Now that you’ve read his story, watch it come alive here:–Y&

Thank you all for your support of HOPE Worldwide programming. Your contributions gave Ramesh a new lease on life thanks to the HOPE Foundation, an Indian affiliate.

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