The Theeramythri programme is the flagship programme of SAF that encourages, facilitates and handholds fisherwomen to engage in gainful alternate self-employment for their economic and social emancipation.

The primary objectives of the Theeramythri programme are:

  • To promote integrated sustainable development of the fisher folks of Kerala.
  • To promote alternative livelihoods among fisher folks for enhancing their incomes and improving their quality of life.
  • To encourage new livelihood avenues through capacity and skill building of fisher folks.
  • To enhance the modernization of technologies for improving efficiency and quality in livelihood ventures.
  • To build awareness among fisher folks on quality improvement in production processes.
  • To develop leadership and management acumen among fisher folks through capacity building and training.
  • To support the beneficiaries in production processes as well as in marketing of their products and services.

SAF conducts various activities under Theeramythri programme such as:

  • Identification and training of the needy among the fisherwomen.
  • Providing financial assistance for starting new microenterprises.
  • Revolving fund for existing microenterprises.
  • Handholding of new and existing microenterprises.
  • Collectivization of enterprise groups into federations.
  • Branding and marketing support
  • Institution of local level management structures.
  • Online linkages and product promotion


The beneficiaries of the project will be women members of the Fishermen Family Register (FFR) prepared by the Department of Fisheries. For the establishment of DME units, 2 to 5 member’s activity groups will be formed. For the selection of beneficiaries:

  • Preference will be given to applicants who are directly affected by natural disasters/pandemic or women members from the family of deceased fishermen.
  • Preference will be given to applicants who have participated in the Theeranypunya programme and digital media and marketing course organized by SAF in the past years.
  • Priority to vulnerable group who belongs to the special category of elderly, transgender, differently-abled, mothers of intellectually/physically disabled children and widows.
  • Preference would be given to women in the age range of 20 to 40 years as the beneficiaries of the project and with a maximum age limit of 50 years.

Financial Assistance to DME Units

  • Assistance will be given to activity groups for preparing bankable projects based on their requirements and nature of the project. Each group will get 75 % of total project cost as grant assistance. A 20% bank loan is necessary for the establishment of micro-enterprises and a 5% beneficiary contribution is also mandatory.
  • A maximum project cost of Rs. 6.67 Lakh is estimated for setting up of an enterprise comprising 5 members and the maximum grant assistance will be limited to Rs. 5 Lakh. Each group will be getting 75% of the project cost as grant assistance i.e., a maximum of Rs. 1 Lakh per member.
  • Grant assistance will be given in two installments: First installment will be released on the basis of the sanction of bank loan for the particular micro enterprise project and this amount may be utilized for the purchase of fixed assets. Second installment will be given as working capital to start functioning.

Setting up of micro enterprises: Model Projects

The different types of micro enterprises that would be established across Kerala as a part of this project includes hotels, catering services, fish vending kiosks, dry fish units with modern dryer, flour mill, value added food products, housekeeping/laundry/dry cleaning services, fashion designing/boutique, beauty parlour, bakery/food processing, catering services/ event management, pet animal breeding /selling, garden setting and nursery, lab /medical store, tourism, IT related out sources, provisional stores with home delivery, tuition centre with online facility, computer centre/ DTP/online services, cleaning/washing/sanitary products manufacturing, Tailoring & garments etc.

Each year, new fisherwomen activity groups are encouraged to take up gainful self-employment opportunities in the existing and new areas. Groups and businesses are selected through a proper appraisal process in order to enhance the chances of business success. For the new groups being formed, the grant support is limited to a maximum of 75%. The grant support has been estimated at a maximum of Rs 1,00,000 per member. However, this would not limit new groups from coming up with innovative business proposals as higher investments would be allowed within the scheme by mobilising additional funds through bank linkages as well as from other possible sources.Any income generating enterprise can be selected as a livelihood activity.