“No matter how much help we get, the loss of a loved one is painful and irreplaceable,” Laiju tells TNM during a phone call from Kozhikode. It’s been almost a week since Laiju’s elder brother Linu lost his life during rescue operations in Kozhikode, one of the districts which were affected by floods caused due to heavy rainfall.
The state of Kerala had not yet begun standing on its feet following the worst deluge in the state’s history in August 2018, when exactly a year later, disaster struck yet again, causing the death to cross more than 105 as of Thursday.
Like many other people and organisations, Linu, who was a 34-year-old carpenter had participated in rescue operations in the flood hit areas of Kozhikode, along with fellow members of the Seva Bharathi, in which he was also a member of. “Our family used to stay together in our house at Kundayithode in Kozhikode. We were shifted to camps as water had entered our homes as well,” recalls Laiju, who had also taken part in the rescue work with Seva Bharathi.
“We had separated into different batches and went in different directions for rescue operations. By the evening, everyone had returned except my brother,” Laiju stops talking.
The family has been getting phone calls and messages from different corners offering them help because his brother died while trying to save others. Among the people who have offered to help Linu’s family are Malayalam actors Mohanlal and Jayasurya.
Mohanlal's letter to Linu's mother.
Mohanlal along with his NGO, Viswasanthi Foundation, according to Laiju had offered to pay off Linu’s debts as well as build a new home for their family. The actor had also sent a letter to Linu’s mother, which was posted by his NGO on their Facebook page.
“I know that your son is not there with you anymore. But he has entered the hearts of three and a half crore people. It takes great courage and mind to risk one’s life for other people. Your son was a braveheart,” the actor wrote in the letter.
Representing the actor and the foundation, Malayalam director Major Ravi had visited Linu’s family and had also handed over an immediate aid of Rs 1 lakh. “Actor Jayasurya has also offered to help us,” added Laiju.