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.
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.