THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has written to Norwegian Nobel Committee’s chairperson and nominated the Kerala fishermen community for Nobel peace prize 2019 for the service they rendered during the time of the massive flood in the state in 2018.
“My letter to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee nominating the fishermen of Kerala for this year's Peace Prize in recognition of their courageous service & sacrifice during the Kerala floods of 2018”, he tweeted.
In his letter, he pointed out that the fishermen takes personal risks and used their boats, which is their main source of livelihood and saved the life’s of hundreds during the floods.
“It was during the height of this tragedy that fishermen groups of Kerala, at great risk to their lives and potential damage to the boats that are the source of their livelihood, jumped into the fray to save their fellow citizens,” he wrote in his letter on Wednesday.
“They took their boats inland, and with their expert knowledge of the local conditions, their participation in the ongoing relief operations proved to be a gamechanger, as not only were they able to pick up stranded personnel in their vicinity but were also instrumental in guiding boats of other rescue teams amidst the swirling waters”, he added.
Tharoor stated that despite inclement weather, the fishermen continued their lifesaving service during the floods.
“The lasting image of a fisherman bending low in the water so as to allow an older person he had rescued to climb on his back and get on his boat is a particularly striking reflection of this spirit that has been etched into the hearts of a grateful community,” he wrote.
He also points out that even as their own lives fell in to the danger, their concerns was to the safety of strangers and when the state government offered compensation in cash and kind for their efforts, many of them politely turned down the offer and pointed out that it is inappropriate to accept a reward for their humanitarian service.
The Kerala Government had felicitated the fishermen in a public function in Thiruvananthapuram in September last year and presented Rs 3.000 to each fisherman.
During that time, the Kerala CM had said: “They didn’t think if the boats they took out would come back or not. They went out without thinking of their own lives or their families and saved the lives of thousands.”
Kerala was hit by massive floods in August last year, which claimed over 357 lives. Moreover, the state incurred losses worth Rs 19,512 crore.