Jayalaksmi Veeradoss


Hailing from a fishing family on the east coast of India, Jayalakshmi has witnessed first-hand the effects of increased development, commercial fishing and industrial activity on her local environment and community. She has therefore organized women for a number of campaigns against coastal industrialization, shrimp farms, thermal power plants, dredging and large-scale shipping projects on both a district and state-level. Her experience of natural disasters and the effects of climate-change has also instilled her with a passion for coastal protection and resilience through the development of community gardens and village forestry, restoring natural formations on beaches, waste reduction and overall preparedness. Having demonstrated a strong commitment towards the welfare of her community throughout her 12 years in active community work, she is now a respected figure in the region. Recently she has been working for the grassroots organization SNEHA (Social Need Education and Human Awareness), where she coordinates and assists the functioning of women and youth groups in Karaikal district of Pondichery.

Jayalaksmi has used the grant to take separate courses on community-based disaster management policy and perspectives; WASH and solid waste management; and best practices in coastal ecology restoration. These courses, which involve workshop, trainings and field-visits, will develop her technical knowledge on these topics and support her in her efforts to scale-up and institutionalise her existing work in these areas. In addition, she would use the grant to travel the region, develop her network and strengthen support for her community-based initiatives. In particular, she hopes to focus on youth and women, who are often marginalized in discussions on disaster management, and ultimately generate a critical mass of aware and confident youths who will become the flagbearers for sustainability in the years to come.  In order to enhance her advocacy abilities, she will also take a course on professional communication in English.

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