Shrouding Kerala with fear, confusion and unrest, the months of July and August were probably some of the worst for the coastal state in recent times, as it witnessed severe flooding that left behind large-scale destruction.
This was also when many ordinary people came to the fore, without giving a second thought to their own safety. One must single out the fisherfolk for special praise because their dedicated participation during this dark phase resulted in the rescue of more than 65,000 people from various districts.
Sadly, many lost their boats to the floods.
James from the Muringoor village of Chalakudy block in the Thrissur district was one such fisherman. With his small boat that could barely seat four, the selfless man went on to save over a hundred locals. However, towards the end of the rescue operation, it gave out and sank, reports Manorama.
He then tied it to a spot near his house. Unfortunately, the area was deluged by the heavy rains, and the boat got swept away. Despite this, James continued his rescue efforts by swimming in regions near the Periyar river.
However, James is primarily a fisherman, and his boat was the only mode of sustenance for his family, which comprises his wife and three children. The loss meant that the family was staring at a life of abject poverty.
Fortunately, his extraordinary efforts didn’t go unrecognised!
In an effort to alleviate James’ plight, Rajesh Menoth, a panchayat member, got together with his friend, an NRI, and decided to surprise him by gifting him a new boat!
The brand new wooden boat was constructed in a span of one-and-a-half months on a budget of Rs 30,000, at a boat-building centre in Cherai. All the while, the duo kept it a secret before eventually surprising James and his family.
Kudos to Rajesh and his friend. Their heartwarming gesture to step up and help a man in need truly epitomises the phrase, “a friend in need is a friend indeed.”
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)