Kochi: The Kerala floods have thrown up several surprise heroes and the latest one is Noushad, a street vendor in Kochi. His act of kindness for the flood victims has won him applause from around the world.
Reji Paul, who owns a stationery shop in the Broadway market here, was busy from Sunday evening attending calls that asked for Noushad. The vendor had become an instant hero in the social media after he donated bundles of dress materials, meant for Eid sale, to the flood-affected people in the northern districts of Kerala on Sunday.
The phone calls from different parts of the world flooded Reji's phone after his mobile number was seen in a Facebook live video shared by actor Rajesh Sharma. He along with a group of volunteers happened to meet Noushad on Sunday afternoon in the Broadway market while searching for clothes to be dispatched for flood relief in Wayanad.
Noushad, who knew about the collection drive, invited them to his stock room, owned by Reji Paul, and donated all the new clothes kept there, mostly for children and women, which were meant for Eid sale. A banner with Reji's phone number was clearly seen in the video following which a huge number of calls came to Reji's number asking for Noushad. It was Reji who had given Noushad's number to them.
Noushad said he had received hundreds of calls, including from celebrities like Mammootty and Jayasurya. "Many offered financial help for our family. But I have done this last year also which went unnoticed," he said. "I couldn't move out from my house today due to these frequent calls," he added.
In the video which went viral, Noushad, while packing the bundles of clothes for the flood victims, is heard saying, "we don't carry anything along when we die. This is my profit which is helping them. This is how I celebrate Eid."
Meanwhile, district collector S. Suhas called him and appreciated his kindness and efforts for the relief work.
"What Noushad has done can't be expressed by words. I have called him. I will meet him once the floods and related activities are over," a Facebook post by Suhas said.
Public Works Department Minister G. Sudhakaran and actor Asif Ali also hailed him for his selfless act.
The social media, which was flooded with Noushad's video, has asked the public not to forget him after the floods. "Once the floods are over, go and meet this man. Help him as much as you can for what he did," a Facebook post reads.