Published: 22nd August 2018
Kanyakumari boys exorcise ghost of Ockhi by emptying piggy banks for Kerala
Two young boys from the community donated their entire piggy banks to the cause, parents say as a fishermen community they felt they had to do something
Among all the heartwarming videos that are coming from Kerala, probably some of the nicest ones are of Keralites standing along the roads with their hands folded in thanks as the fishermen all make their way back to the seas. The fishermen in Kerala were personally responsible for saving thousands of lives in the state and are being hailed as heroes. A few miles away, two young boys from another fishermen community in Kanyakumari are also doing their bit to help the victims.
Nine-year-old Dilan F Matro and six-year-old Charis F Gayle have both donated all their saving to the Kerala relief funds. Even though they've both have had pretty short lives, Dilan had managed to save almost 6000 rupees and his younger brother had about 2000 rupees, their father, Francis Cruze, who owns a grocery shop said. But they don't know for sure as the children donated their piggy banks intact. But how did children this young take such a big decision?
Little help: The two boys saw their mother donating her saris and decided to do something themselves
"Our entire community was collecting material for the victims, so I picked three new saris of mine to contribute. My sons noticed this and asked me what I was doing, so I explained to them about what was happening in Kerala and showed them videos on Asianet," their mother, Gwaldin Cleo said. As soon as she explained this to them, the elder son said that he also wanted to contribute,"I asked him how he wanted to contribute and he suggested his piggy banks. I told him that once he gives it, it's not going to come back and it would be gone for good. He said he understood that and didn't mind," the mother explained. Seeing his older brother give up his money, the younger one also insisted that his mother take his piggy bank too.
Gwaldin then told the children that they would have to consult her husband about this decision, "When I told them this they asked me why. They said they had collected the money on their own and what they do with the money was their business," the mother recalled, laughing. When asked how they had managed to save so much money, little Dilan said that he had been saving for the last four years, "My father would give me money once in a while and I don't spend it anywhere. So I kept collecting it. When I saw the videos of people suffering I decided my money would be more useful there," the boy said.
Fishermen's cove: The entire community has come together to help their neighbouring brothers and sisters
So the two young boys handed over their entire collection to the funds collecting group in their community. The community itself sent in a lot of their volunteers for rescues and they have been collecting a lot of funds too, "Some people from our community are also managing relief camps that are sheltering almost 1000 people," Cruze said.
"We are a fishing community ourselves and many of our fellow fishermen went missing during Ockhi, so we know what it feels like. We know how it is to lose someone or to not know where they are. So at this time, it is our responsibility to do whatever little we can do. We have to be selfless and not think about what we can get from donating. We have to just donate wholeheartedly," the mother said.
Whether rescuing with their boats or collecting money for the relief and recovery, the fishermen community has always been at the forefront. Even when we don't pay attention to their Ockhi, they come with their boats to rescue us from our floods. When the Kerala government offered them 3000 rupees for their services, they refused that too. We will never fully be able to pay back the fishermen community but we can at least learn a thing or two from them.