Jose Thomas

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Friday 24th August, 2018



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Hi Friends

It's been a pretty long time since I wrote my last blog. I do not want to take shelter under excuses, but frankly it is due to some exigencies and business schedules. Please bear with me.

My re-entry into this captivating world of blogs is, unfortunately, greeted by mixed emotions of pain and helplessness. I am here in New York attending to various business activities and handling certain exigencies, simultaneously watching nervously the tragedy in Kerala which is a horrendous experience and I do not want to pass through this again. What an un-imaginable calamity caused by the irresistible fury of nature? Strong buildings and bridges collapsed like a pack of cards, water entered places of worship, into homes, automobiles rolled away like toys, people were tossed out of their buildings, roads cut off and many killed/found missing, etc.

Water, water everywhere!! This is what I am seeing sitting here in New York. I could see people were having difficulty in getting drinking water but this time the sight of water sent shivers through their spine. Can we call it nature's fury or nature crying? Many people say that nature is crying because of the way we treat nature with pollution, misuse, etc. Whatever it is, we are forced to bow before nature. It is a hard earned lesson to adjust with nature and not try to conquer it.

With the rains having stopped now, it is a big relief. The water is receding on roads, rivers, etc. Though I am physically in a faraway place, my heart and soul is in Kerala. I am very sure that we Keralites with our excellent grit and self-confidence will surmount this tragedy in the coming days and make Mother Kerala to firmly stand on her feet. My heartfelt prayers are with my people. The Choice Group will surely raise to the occasion and extend all assistance in mitigating peoples suffering. Let us all join hands.

I would like to record my sincere thanks for the prompt work done by our Central and State Governments and the commendable services rendered by our glorious services - the Army, Navy and Air Force. The Army and Navy was at their best coordinating and exhibiting selfless service to people. The Navy has also opened their base in Kochi for commercial flights to land which reminds me of the old Cochin Airport. I never expected this. What a change!! Added to all these efforts, were the services by our neighbors, volunteers, school students, including students of Choice School. I was very proud to see school students rescuing the senior citizens. I am glad contributions from inside India and abroad are pouring in which is definitely going to be helpful. Thank God today with the technology that is available in the hands of people, alerts could be sent on time and many lives were saved. Thanks to the advanced technology. This is something I must say is a positive side of social media.

My utmost thanks goes to all my brothers and sisters, our Honorable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and our Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. I also want to thank the Government agencies, the Indian Defence forces, NGO's and students.

Another important feature of this tragedy is a lesson from nature to us as to how we treat or deal with nature. We all have to understand that we need to deal with nature with great amount of responsibility. Look at the way our beaches, parks, canals, roads, etc are flooded with plastics, paper, etc. I don't think they are offering a chance on a platter to nature to feel great. So when nature reacts, where should we run? Let us examine ourselves too. Probably the Keralites were not exposed to any wars or such calamities except for frequent hartals and bandhs. Whenever a hartal was called I could see millions of Keralites sitting in their homes with the fear of being stopped on the road by miscreants and I always thought this was not a courageous act. But today I see a different Kerala where brave men and women are seen fighting the consequences of this tragedy. Let this be another lesson for Keralites to be brave and courageous so that in future we will not lose a day on account of strikes and hartals. There is a lot to be done. Let's get back to work and re-build Kerala.

I am very pained to hear about the business loss, especially during the Onam season. I learned that many businesses have lost substantial amounts and I don't know how they would cope with this unexpected tragedy. They must be really facing financial difficulties and few of them must be on the brink of becoming financially sick. I have an appeal to make here, especially to the Reserve Bank of India and other financial institutions. Please pass some extra ordinary policy changes to defend the borrowers from being classified as defaulters. Thousands of crores of Rupees have been lost in this season, leave alone the happiness and celebration. Onam is supposed to be the greatest festival of Kerala and looks like this year Onam is something that the people don't want to celebrate. At this time what I can say is "be kind to one another, reach out to people who need help". Let's use this as a real reason to understand the meaning of life.

I cannot wish my brothers and sisters a Happy Onam. But I want all of you to stay safe, remain healthy and take renewed actions to defend these calamities in the future.

From now on I will continue to write my blogs on various topics and I will be more than happy to receive suggestions from my readers by visiting my page.

Happy reading!!

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