As the death toll due to Ockhi cyclone keeps rising and has reached to 66, the Kerala State Government has announced a Relief Fund to provide assistance to the families of Ockhi victims who lost their lives due to the calamity.
Cyclonic storm Ockhi that hit Kerala a week ago has caused a major life-damage of 66 Fishermen who were earlier reported as missing. At least 11 bodies were recovered from the seas off Kerala on Wednesday and a search and rescue operation for missing fishermen is still in progression. The state authorities have urged the central government to immediately deploy more navy helicopters and ships to intensify the rescue operations in deep sea to trace ‘thousands of fishermen missing.’. The state has also requested a financial assistance of Rs 1,843 crore. The Centre has agreed to send a delegation to the state soon.
While the rescue and search ops are still undergoing, a total of Rs 20 lakhs will be given to families who have lost their breadwinners in the dreadful Ockhi cyclone; of which, Rs 10 lakh will be given out by the State Government, whereas Rs 5 lakhs will be given by the Fisheries Department and Fishermen Welfare Board, each. Financial assistance will also be given to the victims who were not registered with the Fishermen Welfare Board, as a part of their corpus funds. From the given fund, s 5 lakh each will be kept aside for dependent parents and unmarried sisters. A share will be kept to support children’s education and the arrangement for counselling for the families are also being made.
Apart from that, an amount of Rs 2 lakh each has been sanctioned from the Prime Minister’s Distress Relief Fund to the families of dead fishermen. CM Pinarayi Vijayan said that the government will speed up measures to distribute that fund too, so that the families in distress can be eased out up to some extent. Besides government’s relief funds, private contributions are pouring out as people are donating parts of their salaries, companies handing over donations and even groups of employees donating two days from their salaries. Even the CM and other cabinet ministers have donated one month’s salary for special relief in order to help the people in need.