Incessant rains and cloud bursts in higher reaches of Uttarakhand has caused havoc of unprecedented scale. Flash floods have swept away thousand of buildings, houses, men and animals and have also caused damage to roads, bridges and other infrastructure. Despite all out efforts by the Government, military and para military forces normalcy may not be restored in near future. Army , air force and para military personnel did commendable job in rescuing people from places rendered inaccessible due to flood and rains. The army launched its largest rescue and relief operation ever to help those stranded in the state. Rescue operations are officially over though thousands missing may never reach home. Government estimates apart number of deceased in recent calamity may be over astronomically high as per eye witnesses. Under our tourism arm- the Himalayan Gram we are running a resort near Srinagar, which due to the calamity has been converted into a relief centre. From June 17th the resort is being utilized as relief centre for the stranded tourists and pilgrims. Free food and shelter is being provided to the needy at the centre. Till far following services have been provided to the people at the centre: From June 17th till 6th July over 3000 people had food at the resort free of charges. Over 400 people mostly travelling on foot stayed at the centre. Officials of Punjab police, local officials and some journalists also stayed there. Services of a medical practioner was avalaible at the centre for people returning from pilgrimage and also the local people. Now the rescue operations officially over, people affected by the calamity need rehabilitation. The devastation caused by the cloud burst and resultant flash flood is so enormous that the rehabilitation has to start at war footing. Government agencies need support of the agencies engaged in philanthropic and social work.
Uttarakhand Disaster Relief Services
Balajee adopted two girls named Ambika and Ankita of Jaoyalgarh village for her studies and basic requirements who lost her father in claimity. Balajee Sewa Sansthan always emphais his work on women empowerment.
Stipend cheque for the month of May 14 of Rs. 300 to Ambika given by Mr. Ajit Singh Tomar, Chairman of Advisory Board of Balajee Sewa Sansthan.
These agencies may supplement relief provided by the government and need to work in the affected areas for a longer duration. There is fear of cornering relief materials by influential people and the needy and economically weaker people who may not get due share in the relief operations. What we suggest is to provide immediate relief to the villagers suffered by the disaster and remain with them to meet their needs till they are able to earn their livelihood as before . Adopt one or two villages, provide Rations (Flour, Mix Pulses, Rice, Masala packet, Refined oil, Milk powder, Tea packet, Biscuits etc, Umbrella, Raincot and Plastic sheet for temporary shelter, Match box, Solar lantern, Candle, New Clothes for children, study books and their school fee. As an NGO we have limited resources and can operate on a very small scale on our own. We need support of people, agencies and philanthropic society to supplement our fund base for this noble cause.
Till July all expenses towards the foods and maintenance staff at the centre are being met by raising contribution among our own team members and well wishers and we would continue with our efforts and do whatever we can for service of the affected people in hills.
During the rescue operations many officials from Government and also the journalists visited our centre and appreciated efforts made by us in this direction. SDM of Kirti Nagar also find time to visit our centre few times despite his busy schedule for which the organization is thankful.
There was hunger and agony all around. Our people at the resort provided free food, shelter and basic medicines to people coming from all parts of the country and also the local populace.
Calamity last year halted the pilgrimage and tourist traffic to Uttarakhand disturbing our initiative to popularize idea of home stays along yatra route. The concept shall be moved forward this year.