Exactly a month after Poonthura accorded a hero’s welcome to the 24-year-old Jineesh Jeron, the small hamlet is bidding farewell to him. Jineesh, a young fisherman who rescued scores of people during the Kerala floods, died on Saturday morning after being run over by a lorry on Friday afternoon.
The accident happened in Uchakada, Poovar when Jineesh and his friend were travelling to Tamil Nadu in their bike. According to reports, the bike skidded off the road and Jineesh, who fell down, was run over by a lorry. He sustained injuries and was taken to a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram, where he was admitted in the Intensive care Unit (ICU). He succumbed to the injuries on Saturday morning.
A native of Poonthura, Jineesh was a fisherman, who was one among the first persons to reach Chengannur to rescue people. Chengannur in Alappuzha district was one of the worst affected places in the Kerala floods. He was a member of ‘Coastal Warriors’, a group that was one of the first teams to respond to the floods even before the government teams reached. Jineesh was instrumental in finding and helping the people stuck in their houses due to the incessant water logging that happened as a result of rains and the subsequent opening of dams in Kerala. On August 16, he and six of his friends from Puthiyathura, Anjuthengu and Poonthura set out with a boat rented from someone in their locality to Chengannur.
After class 12, Jineesh started venturing out into the sea at the age of 15. He and his family lived in a rented house after their house got destroyed by the sea’s fury three years ago.
Posters, flex boards and banners line the sides of the road leading to Jineesh’s house in Poonthura, praising his heroism. His mortal remains were carried in a procession with scores of people accompanying the coffin to the St Thomas church near Poonthura on Sunday.