Thiruvananthapuram: On Christmas eve on Sunday, a bunch of divers and fishermen swam down to the depths of the sea near the Kovalam Grow beach to offer special prayers for those who were killed by Cyclone Ockhi. Some of the group members, who participated in the prayers, had lost their dear ones in the tragedy.
“Since the fishermen lost their lives in the sea, we wanted to hold prayers for them under the sea,” said Jackson Peter, managing director of Bond Ocean Safari, an adventure tourism firm. The NGO, Friends of Marine Life also collaborated in the occasion.
The team of eight fishermen and four divers went eight metres deep in the sea, 200 metres away from the shore of the beach. The team read out prayers according to their individual faiths from laminated sheets of paper for half an hour. They prayed for those who died and those who are still missing at sea.Peter says the Kerala society at large and its public intellectuals have not reacted to the tragedy the way they should have. “There is something wrong if the deaths of 78 people have not shaken us. Celebrities, public personalities or poets have not said anything about this tragedy,” he said.
“They can sit in air-conditioned halls and watch movies mirroring real life, but what about things that are happening in real life? Our society must talk about this,” he added.
More than 75 fishermen from Kerala alone have been declared dead with dozens still reported to be missing at sea. The worst-affected villages are those that are located near the Thiruvananthapuram coast such as Poonthura, Vizhinjam, Adimalathura and Poovar.