Dubai: A man reportedly selling clothes on footpath has been hailed as the new flood hero in Kerala. Noushad, a Kerala textile dealer in Kochi, donated all the dress material he purchased for Eid sales to flood-affected people.
He became an overnight social media sensation after a video of him donating sacks full of brand new garments for flood victims went viral.
Following his viral video, Noushad got a surprise Eid gift from a UAE expatriate. A Malayali businessman in Dubai announced a gift of Rs.100,000 (Dh5,157) and a family trip to Dubai to Noushad.
Afi Ahmed, managing director of Smart Travel, announced this on Facebook after Noushad’s gesture “touched his heart.”
Malayalam actor Rajesh Sharma had recorded the viral Facebook live video on Sunday, the eve of Eid Al Adha in Kerala. In the video, Noushad can be seen engrossed in pulling out bundles of brand-new clothes, especially for children, from a small storeroom in Ernakulam’s Broadway to fill huge sacks.
Sharma, who was collecting clothes for the flood-affected people elsewhere, said in the video that he was amazed by the large heart of Noushad, who kept filling the sacks without facing the camera, even after he was asked to stop because he would face losses.
Noushad could be heard saying that helping people is his profit and “we did not bring anything with us [when we were born]". He donated four huge bundles of clothes for the flood-hit people to celebrate Eid.
Speaking to Gulf News on Monday evening, Ahmed said Noushad has become the pride of Kerala.
“Several families celebrated Eid because of him. His gesture made many of us look small because he has done this great thing within his limitations and many of us are not doing what we can. It should be an inspiration for every Malayali. Each and every one of us has to do our bit to help in rebuilding Kerala.”
Ahmed said he will also be donating an amount, which he did not disclose, to the Kerala Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund soon. He said, last year, he had contributed a total amount of Rs 800,000 (Dh41,257) post the devastating deluge in the state.
Meanwhile, Keralites, including in the UAE, showered praises on Noushad.
Artist Davinchi Suresh made a massive cloth portrait of Noushad, which was also widely shared on social media.
Last year, Suresh had created a motor-powered sculpture of those who took part in rescue operations after the floods. The 10-feet artwork depicted fishermen and army personnel who shouldered majority of the rescue operations.
UAE tribute for 2018 flood heroes
Last week, UAE-based Lulu Exchange released a series of documentary videos on their website and on YouTube to salute Kerala’s flood heroes in the 2018 deluge.
“Heroes of Kerala, a series of docu-videos, is a humble attempt at saluting the extraordinary human spirit of a few heroes—the ones who conquered a devastating calamity with courage and goodness,” the company said in a statement to Gulf News.
The first documentary features the work of 1500 volunteer IT professionals from across the world who set up KeralaRescue.in, that played a stellar role in helping coordinate rescue operations, contribution of resources, and aiding people in the aftermath of the devastating floods.
Another documentary is on Binu aka Unni, who despite his physical limitations, actively participated in delivering supplies to the rescue camps; personally ensuring that everyone in the camp had what they wanted, spreading his positive spirit around with a smile.
One of the most heartwarming moments of the rescue efforts during the floods was when Jaisal K.P, a fisherman from Malappuram, let victims step on his back so that they could get onto a boat. The story of his selflessness touched the hearts of millions, besides headlining in the New York Times. A video in the series is dedicated to Jaisal.
The last one in the series so far has been dedicated to the Facebook group Anbodu Kochi, which joined hands with people of all ages to contribute to the relief efforts, uniting everyone into one big family. In this documentary, a volunteer of Anbodu Kochi also praises the contributions of Dubai expatriates in flood relief operations.