Kerala Fishermen : The Silent Heroes Armed With Oars And Selfless Courage

Bill Graham once said “Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others often get stiffened” Kerala rains not only flooded the streets of the state but also flooded the news with stories of unparalleled bravery and compassion. Stories of exemplary courage not only shown by security forces but also courage shown by common men, coming from different sections of the society. The latest stories that are trickling in are about the quiet courage shown by the fisherman community.


Kerala’s fisherman are not alien to the concept of disasters, few are still reeling under the disaster caused by Ockhi Cyclone which happened just a few months ago. But here they are helping 1000’s of people stranded in different parts of the state, without expecting anything in return.

The fishermen have a first-hand experience in dealing with turbulent waters, this experience has come in handy while helping in the rescue operations carried out by security forces and NDRF in areas where air lifting is not possible. These gentlemen without thinking twice have waded through neck-deep water to rescue humans and animals who were marooned in multi-storied buildings, huts, shanties and tree-tops. They have successfully rescued 1000’s without any proper resources or medical aid.

One of the videos recently went viral where a fisherman was ungrudgingly kneeling to help the victims climb aboard inflatable boats. Jaisal KP, 32, went down on all fours in waist-deep water at Mallapuram, to help women and the elderly climb onto the rescue boats. Two senior women and a young mother with a baby were seen climbing with his help in video. This benevolent act made him social media’s latest “national hero” People can’t seem to stop gushing about this one heck of a gentleman and about his sheer strength of character that he showed, lot of meme’s have been made in his honor.

The fishermen spent their own money to transport their boats and fuel in trucks, to get to the flooded areas which needed most attention like Chengannur and Kuttanad. Since the roads were blocked due to floods they played an instrumental role in providing relief materials, essential food items and drinking water to rescue camps. Most of the fishermen involved in the laborious task of relief work came from districts such as Malappuram, Kollam, Kannur, Thrissur, Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram.


CM Pinarayi Vijayan, too acknowledged the efforts of fishermen in relief operations. Vijayan declared that all fishermen who took part in the rescue mission would be awarded. “The fishermen intervened in a great way. Many of their vessels got damaged. The government would compensate them for the loss suffered. Apart from that, a boat would be given Rs 3,000 a day and the state would meet the fuel expenses,” he said. But the fishermen refused to take the sum. One of the fishermen even stated, “We didn’t go there expecting monetary benefits. Instead, we could empathize with them. We did it for our people.”

In the face of tragedy and destruction, it’s easy to become bitter and find faults in everything and anything that’s around you. Yes, this flood could have been averted and a big yes, that our apathy towards environment is to be blamed. We tend to start blaming humanity as a whole. But when you hear stories such as above, it not only warms your heart but also reinstates your faith in people around you. 

Picture source :, The Indian Express,  News18


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