“We Left In Three Boats. We Saved Around 500 People”: The Fishermen Rescue Team Of Kerala’s Neendakara Port Return Home
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“We Left In Three Boats. We Saved Around 500 People”: The Fishermen Rescue Team Of Kerala’s Neendakara Port Return Home

Caravan Magazine |
August 22, 2018

At around 7 pm, 11 fishermen returned after three days of rescue operations. Russo Alexander, one of the fishermen, said, ''We are coming back after completing our rescue duties. We left in three boats. We saved around 500 people. I am happy about it.'' PreviousNext


At 7 pm on 20 August, when I reached the Neendakara port in Kerala’s Kollam district, it had finished its business for the day. The silhouettes of the berthed boats were still visible in the light of the night sky, fishermen could be heard chatting in the distance, and the breeze over the Ashtamudi lake carried the smell of freshly caught fish. I approached a group of people— around eight men and one woman—who were standing under a street light before a row of empty boats. They were all party workers of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPI-M, from Neendakara village. Each of them occassionally glanced towards the entrance of the fishing harbour. “Three boats are coming back today,” Jessi Mathias, a local committee member of the CPI-M, said. “We are waiting for them.”

Natural calamities in India have frequently seen the country’s armed forces join the rescue operations. However, in the disastrous floods that have swept Kerala this monsoon, scores of survivors are thanking rescue workers from unlikely quarters for ushering them to safety—the fishing communities from the various ports in the coastal state. One such community is the fisherman of Neendakara port, which literally translates to “long bank,” in Kollam district’s Karunagapally taluk.

Credit by- Caravan Magazine

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