After unrelenting rain over the last two weeks made it a worse monsoon for Kerala in a century killing at least 200 and displacing over 10 lakh, fishermen have turned out to be saviours and unsung heroes. They were the first to respond to the crisis. Hundreds of fishermen rushed to inundated areas -- Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Thrissur districts -- with their boats.
Twitter has given thumbs up to their spirit and meme machines have also come up with interesting things.
The fishermen were roped in by the government as shutters to dams in the state had to be opened when water levels reached the maximum capacity.
"They went to places where other people or even the forces conducting rescue operations could not go," one of the locals said.
The fishermen started around 6 am, rowed through the day and returned late in the evening. "They packed food for the marooned men and women, brought them out of buildings and fed them," another local said.
REAL HEROES DON'T WEAR MASKS.- Rajiv B Menon (@crypticrajiv) August 19, 2018
We call them "fisherman" but they are "Superman". Some of them traveled 120 kms to Chengannur to save lives of people stranded, facing death,due to the deluge. Take a bow #KeralaFloods#KeralaFloodRelief#KeralaRainspic.twitter.com/AOhANVMA4t
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan appreciated their efforts. Union minister KJ Alphons called them the "biggest heroes". The state government has decided to pay Rs 3,000 per day for their work and an additional amount for any damage to their boats. But some of the fishermen have refused to accept the money.
There was no Captain America, There was no Iron Man, There was no Thor, There was no Superman or Batman either. There was only Fishermen. Our guardian angels Time to design few T shirts with the logo.Buyers on demand #KeralaFloods#KeralaFloodReliefpic.twitter.com/ym5gGv9iIt- Do For Kerala (@urstrulyadhil) August 20, 2018
"We are happy to hear the kind words of praise from the Chief Minister. But we don't want money for saving lives," said Khais Mohammed from Fort Kochi.
The #fishermen the #ArmedForces local and national NGOs and most importantly the common people of Kerala have shown the world the power of human kindness and courage in the face of such devastation. The rest of India would do well to watch and take inspiration. Be strong #Kerala- Siddharth (@Actor_Siddharth) August 20, 2018
It's during times of great distress that you get to show what you are made of. You can be a disgusting gutter sanghi. Or you can choose to be like the hero fishermen of Kerala#KeralaFloodspic.twitter.com/j6WUKXT71Y- Sankar Das (@mallucomrade) August 19, 2018
Hats off to the real heroes of this rescue effort....the Fishermen of Kerala.- Dr. Ashley Jacob (@DrAshleyJacob) August 20, 2018
They brought all their boats and launched a massive coordinated evacuation. No one asked them, no one funded them...they just did it!.#KeralaFloodRescuepic.twitter.com/WG5BOxYR1G
The real heros of Kerala #Fishermen- Das Capital (@niravuparambil) August 20, 2018
They had the eminent role here...! They had changed the mode of rescue mission in last 3 days using their boats. while the Rss men in kerala had also changed their kakhi trouser, but not their thoughts. :-) #RSSinKERALApic.twitter.com/euK8Il78dr