Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Sunday that his government will grant Rs 3,000 each, a new boat and fuel to fishermen who helped in rescue operations. At least 357 people have died so far in floods in the state since May 29. The fishermen engaged in rescue operations call themselves Coastal Warriors, according to The Times of India.
The chief minister also said that any damages the fishermen have suffered will be compensated, The News Minute reported. “I appreciate each and everyone who has contributed in any way to the rescue and relief operations,” he added.
Vijayan said the state will also pay for the boats used in operations to be returned. “The government requests the authorities to give a grand welcome to fishermen who have helped us a lot when they reach their hometowns,” he said.
The Alappuzha District Collectorate also praised the fishermen’s role. “Fishermen rescued many people with their boats,” it said in a statement. “They were able to rescue 16,000 people in the region using their boats. Their role in this rescue mission was immense.”
Jaisal KP, a fisherman from Vengara, lay in the water to allow women and children to climb into a boat. A video of him doing this had gone viral. “National Disaster Response Force personnel who were leading the rescue operations in Vengara region informed us they won’t be able to reach to the place where these women were stranded,” he told News18. “We asked them to give their boats for a while, and we rescued them.”
Social media users praised the fishermen for their rescue efforts.