Street-vendor Naushad empties his garment warehouse for flood relief, wins Kerala’s love

Naushad, the street vendor, received a flurry of calls from celebrities including actors Mammootty Jayasurya thanking him for his kindness.

A street vendor selling garment on Kochi’s popular Broadway market, who emptied a big chunk of his warehouse to contribute towards flood relief in Kerala, is winning hearts all over the state. At a time when there are disconcerting campaigns in certain corners of the internet asking people not to contribute to government’s flood relief alleging it could go into the pockets of politicians, the selfless actions of Naushad, the street vendor, are garnering praise.

When a bunch of people led by theatre-film actor Rajesh Sharma went around the Broadway market on Sunday, looking for clothes to supply to flood-relief camps in Wayanad, there was reportedly a hesitation on the part of some shop-owners to contribute. Naushad, who lives with his wife and son in neighbouring Vypeen island, led them to his warehouse where he keeps his stocks. He then filled their gunny bags, one after the other, with brand-new clothes that he had kept aside for sale. The entire sequence, shot by Sharma live on Facebook, left them astounded and went viral across the state.

"I cannot believe it, this man led us here to his warehouse and he is giving us almost everything including clothes that came with price-tags. This is how he is celebrating his Eid," Sharma can be heard saying on the video. The group, led by Sharma, eventually left Naushad’s warehouse with four large gunny bags filled with clothes.

"The people of Kerala are indebted to you," Sharma tells Naushad.

Naushad later told television reporters, "When they came, nobody gave them anything from the shops. So I brought them here (to the warehouse). Whatever I could, I have donated. I could have given more, but they told me to stop. This is not a loss for me. Everything is ‘laabham’ (profit). When we came here (into this world), we didn’t bring anything. We are not taking back anything when we die."

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The street vendor received a flurry of calls from celebrities including actors Mammootty Jayasurya thanking him for his kindness. As a tribute, artist Davinci Suresh created a portrait of Naushad using just clothes.