Air India Express crash: Victim donated money to feed the poor before boarding flight
Pilassery, 35, who worked as a salesman in Sharjah, is among the 18 who died in the Air India Express crash.
It was typical of Sharafu Pilassery to go out of his way to help the needy. But in the morning of August 7, when he pulled out the last few dirhams from his wallet and asked his friend to feed the poor, the Keralite expat did not know it would be his last act of charity.
Pilassery, 35, who worked as a salesman in Sharjah, is among the 18 who died in the Air India Express crash at Karipur international airport in Kozhikode, Kerala.
His wife Ameena Sherin is safe but their daughter Isa Fathima is struggling for her life at Kozhikode Medical College, according to reports.
His last picture on Facebook, taken with his family, was shared with a caption, "Back to home!".
"I can never forget our last meeting.. He came to my restaurant on Friday morning and pulled out some cash from his purse and told me to feed the poor," Pilassery's friend Shafi Parakkulam told Khaleej Times.
Parakkulam said he had been feeding people affected by coronavirus outbreak at his Al Shawamik restaurant in Sharjah.
"I have a board hung at my restaurant saying people who are hungry and without money don't have to pay for food. I could run this charitable endeavour because of people like Sharafu. He was a kind-hearted soul who had helped many during this pandemic," said Parakkulam.
"I met him at the restaurant two years ago and became close to him. He was a good-hearted and kind person who was always eager to help others in need. I still cannot believe that he is no more."
In an emotional post on Facebook, Parakkulam said Pilassery appeared to have a hunch about the tragedy that was to befall him when he said goodbye.
"Before he left for Kerala, he came to my hotel to say goodbye. He was visibly upset and said, 'I don't know why I feel tense about going back home'."
Parakkulam said he still couldn't forget the tears he saw in his friend's eyes. "I want to fulfil his last wish. I am contacting social workers to identify a workers' camp to give free food. I want to honour my friend, who always believed in helping others," he said.
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