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Sunday, Aug 18, 2019

Heroes save the day in flood-hit Kerala

On Sunday, his friends noticed he had not come back after attending an emergency call in a nearby area. Missing for the last two days, his body was recovered on Monday

kerala Updated: Aug 13, 2019 16:02 IST
Ramesh Babu
Ramesh Babu
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
Residents of Kozhikode in north Kerala paid a tearful adieu to the 32-year-old man, who died while carrying out rescue work .
Residents of Kozhikode in north Kerala paid a tearful adieu to the 32-year-old man, who died while carrying out rescue work .(Twitter image)
         

Linu rescued many from the gushing floodwaters but could not save his own life.

Residents of Kozhikode in north Kerala paid a tearful adieu to the 32-year-old man, who died while carrying out rescue work after torrential monsoon rains caused landslides and flooding killing at least 90 people and displacing lakhs across the state.

On Sunday, his friends noticed he had not come back after attending an emergency call in a nearby area. Missing for the last two days, his body was recovered on Monday.

His friends said he was engaged in relief work after rains worsened four days ago. Among the many, he also shifted his parents to a relief camp and rushed back to his work.

“He saved more than two dozen people. While going back he told me after swimming so long he felt tired. I asked him to take rest but he told me it is no time to rest,” his inconsolable mother said.

Social media was flooded with tributes to him.

“The state will always remember his sacrifice. His selfless service was an inspiration to all,” state finance minister Thomas Issac wrote in his post on Facebook.

“He is a symbol of service and sacrifice. He will be remembered by all,” said BJP leader MT Ramesh after visiting his aged parents.

There are many such heroes as God’s Own Country has been grappling with a devastating flood.

S Vishnu, a young Indian Army soldier, was one among them. A naik with the Signal Regiments in West Bengal’s Siliguri, Vishnu had come home on a month’s leave.

When rains battered Kavalappara, the worst-affected area in the state’s Malappuram, he took the initiative to shift some of the locals but later he and three of his family members were trapped in the debris.

“He rescued several people from gushing waters and later paid with his own life,” his neighbour Abdul Rehman lamented.

Now, people from his area are planning to send a letter to the army to honour the brave soldier.

Similarly, state electricity board engineer S Baiju, 42, who was working on a snapped electric tower, drowned on Friday. The small boat he was travelling capsized in swollen waters and his body was fished out the next day.

Many, including chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, paid rich tributes to the “dutiful government employee.”

First Published: Aug 13, 2019 16:02 IST

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