Kerala beedi worker donates entire bank savings to CM's relief fund

Kannur: Dire situations bring out the best in people. Such an instance came to light through the Facebook post of a bank employee in Kannur.

C P Sounder Raj was at work when an elderly man walked into the Kerala Bank branch here on Friday. The man enquired about his account balance, and when told he had Rs 2,00,850, demanded Raj to help him donate Rs 2 lakh to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF).

The donation, the man said, was for the government to procure anti-COVID-19 vaccine.

Raj said he was initially taken aback. Then the feeling sank in: “We are all so small before this man,” the bank employee later posted. The man had identified himself as a retired worker of the Dinesh Beedi Cooperative Society.

Raj felt the man had not put in enough thought before making the decision to donate such a huge amount, almost all of his savings. The banker suggested donating Rs 1 lakh now, and keeping the remaining amount in his account.

The response left Raj speechless. The man said he has been receiving the pension for the differently-abled, besides raising additional revenue by making beedis. He said it was enough to see him through.

The elderly man sought anonymity, and hence Raj had not identified him. In his news conference later in the evening, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan lauded the man for the altruistic donation.

CMDRF receives Rs 1.5 crore in a day

Thiruvananthapuram: The CMDRF received Rs 1.15 crore in donations for purchasing the vaccine on Friday.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Health Minister K K Shailaja donated Rs 1 lakh each, while Minister Kadakampally Surendran donated a month’s salary to the fund.

Writer T Padmanabhan also donated Rs 1 lakh. Minister Surendran said the cooperative sector in the State would raise Rs 200 crore initially for the CMRDF. Employees of the cooperative department would contribute a day’s pay from their salaries for the months of April and May.

Those employed with various Boards in the cooperative sector, self-governing bodies and others, would donate two days’ pay according to the financial status.

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