Monday, 30 January 2017

Tale of Kalazis or Ship Workers from Calicut


Kalazis have been part of the construction sector of Kerala for over a decade. They have come to rescue people who have got stuck with the movement of heavy objects in the construction and other sectors. When the hi-tech equipment fails completely, these people come with traditional equipment, such as pulley and steel ropes, to lift heavy objects to the required heights and safely place them on the pedestals intended for them. They have never failed in their missions. That is why their demand has been increasing with each passing day. They have travelled far and wide to help people move heavy objects. In this blog post, we will look at their work and ponder on how they accomplish seemingly difficult tasks so easily.

kalazis at work

Who are Kalazis?

They are traditionally a group of people actively involved in the shipping sector. Their primary responsibility is to bring the ships meant for repair to the dockyard from and push them back to the sea. For this purpose, they use traditional equipment such as the pulley, steel ropes, metal platforms, etc. They also effect the movement of parts of the ship to the workshop for repair. These ship parts are then moved back to the ship with their help using traditional equipment. Apart from these, they undertake outside work on request. Till date, they have travelled to different places on request to move heavy objects. People from different fields have called them to move heavy objects when other methods, including hi-tech machinery, failed miserably. They have traveled far and wide on the invitation to take up different types of jobs. They always carried this traditional equipment with them. Their mental calculation, meticulous planning and the reliance on the strength of the team made sure that the work they undertake is accomplished without fail. They hail from places such as Beypore, Chaliyam, Kallayi and Farooq in Calicut district of North Kerala.


Kalazis At Work

Kalazis plan their work meticulously. After observing their place of work and looking at the objects at their disposal, they sit and decide what course of action they have to take. Planning is never a one-sided affair. The team members actively chip in with suggestions. The team leader analyses the suggestions and takes a call on what to do. Their planning always banks on the huge volume of experience they have in this field. They use metal platforms, pulleys, wooden stubs, steel or metal ropes, etc. The meticulous planning, team effort, and their stamina combine to produce a highly successful concoction at work. The team has successfully lifted vehicles, including the train bogies, at the accident sites and rescued people. They have lifted heavy objects in high-rise buildings where the cranes do not have access. They have even moved heavy machinery to the 682-meter tall clock tower in Mecca and did the repair work on a high-rise platform. They have also lifted an aeroplane that has skid out of runway at Calicut International Airport. Their expertise was utilised in moving heavy KSEB transformers up the hillock at Sabarimala in Central Kerala. They had traveled with equipment uphill for their installation near the Sabarimala Dharma Shastha Temple.

kalazis use pulley
Thuruvananthapuram Kozhikode, Kerala, India