Uttarakhand disaster

Collapsing buildings

In the history of Uttarakhand 15th of June will be remembered as one of the most  calamitous days ever. We’ve heard about the effects and intensity of  ‘ Tsunami ‘ not long ago. Who could ever imagine that a similar catastrophe named the ‘ Himalayan Tsunami ‘ would strike India once again.

Today uttarakhand wears a mournful look with dilapidated buildings, broken bridges and homes. The Kedarnath shrine which is one of the four holy ‘ dhams ‘ (abodes)  today lies desolated ravaged by the torrential rains.  It was heart rending to see the shrine under the pile of debris with bodies strewn all over.

 News channels, newspapers, and the internet were splashed with news of the disaster. But this event like any other is gradually dying a slow death.  So, now what happens ? What about the people who have survived ? What about their future ? Why this tragedy had to take place ?

Well, we can’t have answers to all the questions. Though in my opinion the government, the Army and the Indian Airforce had put in the best of efforts to rescue the piligrims  caught up in the flood ravaged state. The army troops put their own lives at risk to save our fellow citizens. 

Food and medicines were airdropped in the remote areas of Uttarakhand.

The Prime minister promised Rs. 1000/- crore aid to the state.

A massive multiagency rescue and relief operations was put into place.

The defence ministry deployed more than fourty five  army and Indian Airforce helicopters with more than ten thousand troops in the state.

Hopefully the aids and help promised by the government would be fulfilled. Thus , we see that the government has done its part and we can’t complain. But we can only hope that the survivors who are left with no future, would be able to make a secure place for themselves in the days to come.

It’s true that we can’t do much when it comes to natural disasters. Such  incidents are not in the hands of mere human beings. But it’s true that we have played a  major role in destroying the earth and it’s climatic changes. Have’nt we ? 

For instance on March 26 1974 when a group of women in Reni village of Uttarakhand stood hugging the trees, they were preventing the contractors from the forest department from cutting down them down. This incident gave rise to the Chipko movment.

The Chipko movment had gained momentum in India and the participants protested against deforestation. But the message that it spread seems to have got lost in thin air. Deforestation has caused major climatic changes in this area and the result is destruction. So who are we to blame ? No one but ourselves.

Landslides
Landslides

From this tragedy we take back horrific stories of survivors  that have touched people’s hearts.  One such story is of an affluent family from Ludhiana in Punjab who had  reached Dehradun after  surviving in the wilderness for four days. They shared three cucumbers among themselves, begged for torn pieces of blankets that cover mules.

They walked long distances through forests, when it was pitch dark and amid heavy rain. They survived the catastrophe but lost their twelve year old son Sarvesh who according to sources is still missing.  Women and children had to drink muddy water to survive. The locals took advantage of the situation and fleeced the piligrims for food items.

 The Uttarakhand tragedy is a lesson for all of us to not play with Mother nature or else we have no other option but to succumb to her wrath and fury. Now, we can only pray for the ‘ Land of Gods ‘ and its victims and hope they would see a brighter dawn in the days to come.

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18 thoughts on “Uttarakhand disaster

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  1. The devastation and destruction in Uttarakhand is truly tragic and sad. It may take years to restore normalcy there, though for the victims it may take a lifetime to recover. But then we are responsible for it. It seems there were alerts from the Met department, but nobody paid any heed to it!
    Hope we learn from this.

    1. I agree Shilpa that this was one of the most tragic disasters of current times. I never knew about the alerts from the Met department. If this was truly the case, it was a major blunder to ignore it.

  2. Nice perspective and the efforts of the Indian Army should be lauded. However, the same cannot be said of the government since a 1996 report advised against further construction and as Shilpa right pointed out above, MET issues alerts which were nicely ignored. The state government has acted like murderers and it could have been avoided. Unfortunately, lives were loss while Congress and BJP bickered like kids.

    1. Thanks Vishal. Glad you liked my perspective. Ofcourse the Indian army has done a great job. No doubt about that. I never read about the alerts from the Met dpt. If this was the case it was truly a blunder to ignore it. I do not know much about the 1996 report but I feel the construction of houses and buildings near the river banks should not have been allowed. It’s true we’ve lost several valuable lives but I hope the government would keep to its promise and provide maximum aid to the survivors.

  3. Whatever has happened is truly tragic and nothing can fill the gap. The physical destruction might get recovered but destruction that the human hearts and lives have encountered might never could be restored and recovered.

    it is a one more lesson to us that no matter what we do, we can never go ahead of the power of nature. if only we learn.

    I liked the way you have brought out your feelings on the topic Diana.

    1. Exactly ! No matter what we do, Mother nature will always be supreme. The wounds that this tragic has left behind in the hearts of people would take years to heal.

  4. It is heart-breaking, especially when it appears that there was enough warning about this beforehand. Nobody can argue with Nature. I also hear that a lot of the aid meant for the victims is not reaching them, which is not surprising.

    Touching post, Diana.

  5. I always say Nature is not to be messed with. However superior man considers himself. That said, it is indeed a great loss to life and this is the time that brings forth the heroes and the good for nothings as can be seen from the news.

  6. Really sad with nature’s wrath. Agreeably the army has done a lot to help but I wonder how much of the govt. aid will ever reach the needy. Really a sad state of affairs.

  7. Uttarakhand Uttaranchal are most beautiful dreamy places in north . It’s always my dream destination . Went to few places last year
    This incident shook me hard . I was scared to even follow the news . Reading now also gives me chills . True humans have to face the effects of their deeds 😦

    1. Good to know you’ve been to Uttarkhand/ Uttaranchal Afshan. I was eager to visit these places, but after this incident I have to think twice. The incident was really shocking and scary…. Sad that innocent people lost their lives.

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