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.
My letter to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee nominating the fishermen of Kerala for this year's Peace Prize in recognition of their courageous service & sacrifice during the #KeralaFloods of 2018: pic.twitter.com/xtPLrTnQBT— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) February 6, 2019
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.
"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.