Thirteen fishermen from Kozhikode’s Kappad beach organised a donation collection drive to buy amenities for the flood-affected victims in Ernakulam worth Rs 2 lakh. On Monday, the essential supplies were transported on a truck to be distributed among the hundreds of flood affected people at six relief camps in Ernakulam.

The fishermen said they bought around 2,500 kilos of rice, puffed rice, biscuits, clothes, sanitary items and water for the victims whose homes have been inundated by the flood water since August 15.

One of the relief camps they distributed the supplies to, Sree Narayana Institute of Medical Science at Kunnukara gram panchayat in Ernakulam, is now home to more than 200 of the displaced villagers.

The fishermen said people from all walks of life contributed to their drive. “We began a fund collection drive on August 15 when we heard about the flooding in south Kerala,” Sakeer Hussain, a member of the team, told “Some gave us Rs 10 while others chipped in with Rs 500. We managed to collect Rs 2 lakh in just three days.”

The group plans to return to the flood-effected area with more supplies. “We launched this initiative because we believe that the people in distress need our support,” said fisherman P Nisar.

The group said they realised the magnitude of the situation after visiting the relief camps. “They need our support. We will not let them down,” they said.

At least 357 people have lost their lives in rain-related incidents since May 29 in Kerala. Rescue efforts are underway to take people to safety. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and several local authorities have praised the fisherfolk, who have contributed immensely to the rescue and relief work in the state.

The group of fishermen from Kozhikode who led the donation drive (Photo credit: TA Ameerudheen)