Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday gave a 'big salute' to the state's fishermen, who rescued thousands of people trapped in the floods, which claimed 470 lives since May 29 when the South West Monsoon set in over Kerala.
Mr Vijayan honoured the fishermen, wrapped a 'ponnada' (shawl) around them and handed over certificates of appreciation at a function here.
He said the fishermen did not think of their safety, their families or any monetary gains from the government as they joined rescue operations - he thanked all of them.
"We need to protect this unity and go forward. Our state is very dear to us. I am giving Kerala's big salute to the fishermen", Mr Vijayan said.
He said there is a need to ensure proper rehabilitation of the affected like building houses for those who had lost their homes. Also, schools, panchayat offices, police stations and many government offices were damaged in the floods, he said.
"We need to raise our state at a much higher level", he said, adding the need of the hour was to rebuild the state and take Kerala to greater heights.
These coastal warriors had come in their boats from several parts of the state and had rescued around 65,000 marooned flood victims.Fisheries minister Mercykutty Amma and water resources minister TM Thomas Issac were also present.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi had lauded the role played by the fishermen who had saved many lives in the recent floods that had ravaged the state.
The Chief Minister also lauded the efforts by the defence forces, NDRF, policemen, fire force personnel and hundreds of volunteers who were part of the rescue operations in the state.
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