- During 1990 Gulf War, Mathunny Mathews helped thousands of Indians flee
- He provided food and drinking water to stranded Indians
- Mr Mathews, 81, died on Saturday due to poor health
81-year-old Mr Mathews, who hailed from Kumbanad in Pathnamthitta district, was ailing for some time and died yesterday, media reports here said.
Expressing his condolence, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said today that during the 1990 Gulf war Mathews had helped thousands of Indians to flee the gulf nation and his services would always be remembered.
By not taking efforts to save his own life and property, Mr Mathews had done yeoman service to bring his countrymen, who had lost everything in the war, safely back, Mr Vijayan said.
"He provided food and drinking water to the stranded Indians and we remember it with gratitude," Mr Vijayan said.
The V P Singh government had in 1990 carried out the biggest evacuation during the gulf war when over 1.50 lakh standard Indians had been safely brought back by flight. At that time Mr Mathews had functioned as the Central Government's "unofficial representative" in Kuwait to coordinate the evacuation process, the Chief Minister said.
Popularly known as 'Toyota Sunny', Mathunny Mathews was said to be the inspiration of Akshay Kumar's character in Bollywood film 'Airlift'.
Extremely sad news, was an honour to portray him onscreen. Thoughts and prayers with his family