Kochi: ‘Hartal…..what’s that?’ French tourist Kevin wondered when he heard about hartal for the first time. Three French tourists reached Ernakulam South Railway Station on Thursday. When they enquired for a taxi to reach Fort Kochi, Railway police officers informed them about hartal and the unavailability of vehicles.
Kevin and friends are visiting India for the seventh time. But, hartal welcomed them on their first visit to Kerala. Having no means to reach their destination, the tourists walked carrying their luggage. Seeing their condition, ‘Say No To Hartal’ activits stepped forward to help them. Tourists were initially suspicious about the intention of the organisers taking them freely to their destination in a car. Following that, railway police officers explained them what is hartal and ‘Say No To Hartal’ movement.
When the car was about to leave, two more foreign tourists from UK and Russia ran close to the vehicle. They also wanted to go to Fort Kochi and the car moved accommodating them too.
Say No To Hartal
Raju P Nair initiated the ‘Say No To Hartal’ movement 8 years back. He helps travellers from Ernakulam South Railway station to their destination all alone. Later, friends and people associated with Raju joined the movement. They conducted 150 services in 15 vehicles. Convenor Manoj Ravindran said that they conduct services till autorickshaws and other taxies begin to ply.
People from different sphere of profession like doctors, IT staff and businessmen are part of the movement. Their services are available in Thrissur, Alappuzha and Erankulam; totally free of cost.