The floods in Kerala have made not just India, but other countries too sit up and offer support. While locally, aid has poured in from various states, celebrities, non-profit organisations and even the Indian Railways, international aid has also arrived like this Rs 50 cr investment from a UAE-based billionaire, and Rs 700 cr from the ruler of Dubai.
Closer home, a simple cloth trader decided to pledge most of what he had to help flood victims, reports Manorama.
26-year-old PK Faizal, from Kalpetta in Wayanad, Kerala, hails from a lower-middle-class family and is the first of two children of Aboobacker and Subaida.
His sister, Ummul Faleesa, teaches at Government HSS, Wayanad. A difficult childhood forced Faizal to drop his education midway and start a small business.
Faizal told Manorama how it took several attempts before he could set up a shop in the heart of Kalpetta town. A long-time dream, the textile shop ‘Kalpetta Readymades’ was named in honour of his native place.
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At around 4 pm on August 18th, ‘Fight for Life’ volunteers turned up at Faizal’s shop, with an urgent requirement of low-cost blankets to be used in relief camps. Siraj Vythiri, who volunteers with the NGO, told Manorama that the group asked Faizal whether he could provide bedsheets and blankets for flood relief victims. Faizal responded by asking Siraj to take all the stock from the showroom.
Coincidentally, fresh stock for the Onam-Bakrid season was being unloaded by labourers at ‘Kalpetta Readymades’ when Siraj and his team had arrived. Without hesitation, Faizal donated the fresh lot as well.
His timely donation did help out after all. The gross total of his initiative was Rs 11 lakh–a huge amount for a small-time trader.
‘Fight for Life’ volunteers released the following figures:-
1,400 shirts worth Rs 6.25 lakhs.
340 formal and denim trousers worth Rs 1.8 lakh.
Kidswear worth Rs 2.5 lakh.
Bed sheets, blankets, bath towels and textile products, worth Rs 75,000
It was Faizal’s conscience which prompted him to help his fellow citizens. He realised that there was no use piling up stock in his shop when people were suffering from rain and cold. Besides, it was only a matter of chance–Faizal too might lose his shop in the next flood.
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The small trader had a large heart. Making light of his donation, Faizal rounded off that the least he could offer his fellow citizens in Kerala was comfort at this difficult hour.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)