In the Kerala backwaters in Kuttanad, a 50-year-old boatman is ferrying essential commodities including rice and grains, to around 60 families on an island here, who have been left with no mode of transportation after the coronavirus lockdown.
Sabu, the owner of an engine-fitted fibre boat, visits the market in Alappuzha town, buys all the required commodities and delivers them to the families stranded on the island.
“They reach me over the phone and tell me what they need. I purchase the items from the town and deliver it to their homes. Ever since the lockdown, there are no public boat services. While I am also afraid of coronavirus, there are 60 families who depend on me,” Sabu said on Friday.
He said that it is his duty to deliver the commodities to those in need.
Omana, one of the residents of the island, said that they have been living at the mercy of the ”good boatman” ever since the lockdown.
“We used to purchase everything from the town ourselves and travel via boats. However, since the lockdown was imposed, the boat services have come to a halt. Thanks to Sabu that we are not starving here,” Omana said.
Another resident of the island, Saji, said that they have been completely cut off from the rest of the world since the lockdown and added that it is only due to the boatman that they get to have food on time.
The entire country is under a 21-day lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus, which has claimed the lives of at least 56 people and infected over 2,000 others.