India is witnessing a new record of coronavirus cases every day with numbers crossing over 3.5 lakh. As the country struggles to battle the deadly second wave, the health sector is in dire need of aid. With states and hospitals constantly sending out SOS, social media has become the ultimate resort for people to seek help. Amid such tiring times, the nation is also seeing people from different walks of life coming together to offer help and letting the worst times bring the best out of them. In one such latest incident, a beedi worker from Kerala donated almost his entire savings to the chief minister’s funds to help the state roll out a free vaccination drive.
A differently-abled beedi roller from Kerala’s Kannur district has donated Rs 2 lakh to the chief minister's disaster relief fund (CMDRF). This has left him with only Rs 850, but Janardhanan said that he has no regrets. Talking to reporters, he said, “When I heard in the news on TV that the vaccine would be sold to the state at Rs 400/dose in turn becoming a major burden for the state government, I knew that I couldn't stand and watch. That night, I couldn't sleep. The next day, I went to the bank. I felt relieved only after donating the money,” reports Indian Express.
When he went to the bank to donate the money, even the bank official was taken by surprise. On being asked that how he would survive with this less money, Janardhanan said that he still has an earning as a beedi roller and also draw his differently-abled monthly pension from the government. He lost his wife last year and is survived by two daughters and their families. He believes that people’s lives are bigger than his savings and money, so he ought to help those who cannot afford the vaccine.
Janardhanana’s act of benevolence was also shared by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who lauded the man’s gesture in a tweet on Saturday evening.
“Many heart warming stories are coming up about donations to the CMDRF, including that of an elderly man who donated 2L from his savings bank account which had Rs. 200,850 in it. It is this love for one another that sets us apart. Once again, thank each and every one of you!” the chief minister wrote.
Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac also hailed the beedi worker for going out of his way to help fight the coronavirus pandemic. Taking to Twitter, he said, “Kerala rallies to #vaccinechallenge. A beedi worker from Kannur donates Rs 2 lakhs to CMDRF leaving just Rs 850 in his account. Bank staff hesitated but his answer was that he could still roll beedies and also was entitled to disability pension. We are humbled by the response of people," he captioned the post.”
The kind act went soon viral, earning praises and winning the hearts of netizens. Thousands of people have come forward to contribute to the CMDRF as a means to support the state government in directly procuring Covid-19 vaccines from the manufacturers.
On Sunday, CM Pinarayi Vijayan has reiterated his government’s plan last week to provide free vaccination in the State.