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Kanyakumari: Fishermen from Eraiviputhenthurai coastal village in the district who rescued 126 residents from the flood-hit Chengannur town in Alappuzha district of Kerala, were honoured with certificates of appreciation by the Kanyakumari district collector, Prashant M Wadnere, during the fishermen grievances meeting held on Friday.

On August 18, 20 fishermen of Eraiviputhenthurai went to the affected areas in three boats for the rescue operations. Fishermen said they spent Rs 2.5 lakh for transporting their boats and to give relief materials to the affected people.

“We were involved in the rescue mission this without any expectation and recognition. We knew that we were created to live in waters and that we alone can rescue those in inundated areas,” S Justin, who led the team of fishermen in three boats said.

“I was worried if I was destined to catch fish all my life. But through the rescue God helped me realise that we were born to save people affected in the floods,” he said. During one of the events in Kerala they were given a few bags of rice, snacks and other gifts for Onam, which they received and happily handed them over to those in distress.

Fellow fishermen Bruce Lee, Leo Tolstoy, Sherin Anto, Binu, Francis, Antony and Vijin who were recognised by the collector said the happiness derived in rescuing people was more that the honours and recognitions. The remaining members of the rescue team could not make it to the event as they had gone to the sea for fishing.

On Friday, the collector also honoured owners of two boats from ST Mangadu village who provided two fibre boats to rescue people stuck in flood-affected areas in Kanyakumari district on August 14 and 15. Following the event, representatives of Rajinikanth fans club also honoured the fishermen.

Justin said that this is the third time they are being recognised by elected representatives and various organizations in Kerala and they have been invited for another event where they would be honoured by the Kerala chief minister.

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