16:46 GMT +320 July 2019
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    Indian Lawmaker Recommends Collective Nobel Peace Prize for Saviour Fishermen

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    The fishermen of the southern Indian state of Kerala have refused to accept a monetary reward from the state in lieu of the selfless and heroic service they rendered in the evacuation and rescue of victims of the devastating floods that occurred in the state in August last year.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): Member of the Indian parliament and renowned author Shashi Tharoor has written to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee recommending the fishermen from the southern state of Kerala for the coveted honour, citing their tireless efforts to save hundreds of lives during devastating floods in the state last year.

    "I write to you today, in the capacity of the Member of Parliament for Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala (India) to nominate the fishermen of Kerala, collectively, for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, in recognition of their selfless lifesaving service during the devastating floods that besieged the state of Kerala in August 2018", the letter written by Shashi Tharoor reads. 

    Between June and August 2018, torrential rains triggered widespread flooding in Kerala, the worst of the century, resulting in the loss of at least 488 lives and flattening over 20,000 homes and an estimated 83,000 kilometers of roads and highways.

    In the devastation and displacement that ensued, around 5.43 million individuals were affected. Tharoor, who also represented India at the United Nations before joining active politics, said that the fishermen of Kerala, at great personal risk to their lives and potential damage to the boats that are the source of their livelihood, proved to be a game-changer during the floods.

    READ MORE: Over 167 Dead in Southern India's Worst Flood in Nearly a Century

    "All in all, nearly 700 boats (larger than the combined strength of National Disaster Relief Force, Indian Navy, Indian Army and the Coast Guard) manned by 4500 fishermen, spearheaded this internal deployment and were responsible for saving nearly 65000 lives from  certain death", Tharoor, India's former minister of state for external affairs, added.

    According to official records of the Kerala government, most of the fishermen in the state represent a socially under-privileged class who survive on an annual subsistence of less than $86.

     

     

     

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    Nobel Prize, fishermen, floods, rescue, Shashi Tharoor, Kerala, India
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