Uttarakhand returning to normalcy after disaster
After carrying out massive relief and rescue operation in all the affected regions of Uttarakhand, different teams of swayamsevaks and Sangh associated organisations are conducting on the spot study of the loss of lives and damage to property. Began on July 4, the study is being conducted in 26 blocks, specially identified by the swayamsevaks.
Talking to Organiser over telephone after conducting a weeklong tour of all the affected regions of the State, RSS Uttaranchal Prant Karyavah Shri Laxmi Prasad Jaiswal said all the study teams have been directed to report back in Dehradun on July 15 and after reviewing all the reports, a comprehensive rehabilitation plan will be discussed with RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi in Dehradun on July 18.
A meeting to discuss the rehabilitation strategy was convened in Dehradun on July 3, which was attended by senior Sangh leaders and the representatives of the associated organisations. Representative from Vatsalya Gram also attended the meeting on behalf of Didi Maa Sadhvi Ritambhara.
Prant Karyavah Shri Jaiswal visited the affected areas of the State from June 25 to July 1 to have preliminary information of the devastation. “During the week long tour, I tried to have a first hand information of the relief and rescue activities carried out by swayamsevaks and also the armed forces. I also tried to have an estimate of the loss of lives and damage to property. I met local people and also detected the areas where the government machinery failed,” he said.
He further said majority of the relief centres have been closed down as almost all the pilgrims have been rescued. Now the swayamsevaks have started providing relief material to the local affected people, as they also immensely suffered in the floods. However, apart from the Sangh swayamsevaks, the government agencies and some other voluntary organisations are also helping them. “We have specifically identified 68 villages in Ukhimath where the local people suffered hugely in the tragedy. These villages were identified after a survey and reports from the ground. The round the clock kitchens, ran for the stranded pilgrims have been closed and now the focus is on providing raw material to the affected local people,” Shri Jaiswal added.
He said the response of the people from different parts of the country has been tremendous and they continued to dispatch relief material even after an appeal not to further send it. “On July 2 itself we dispatched about 100 trucks with relief material to the affected areas. Still we have about 100 truckload relief material in Dehradun control room,” he added.
When asked for his impression about the performance of Disaster Management Authority and the State government after the tragedy, he said the State government completely failed in providing timely relief to the victims. “Uttarakhand Government has completely failed. Had it not been the army and the voluntary organisations the loss would have been huge. As far as the Disaster Management is concerned we have found that the people in the department are still not aware of the real concept of disaster management. Instead of making adequate arrangements before any disaster, they feel the arrangements have to be made after the disaster,” added Shri Jaiswal.
In the last week, a total of 15 relief centres were run at Rishikesh, Chamba, Ghansali, Joshimath, Karnaprayag, Chamoli, Srinagar, Netwar, Haridwar, Dehradun, Pokhari, Dhatyud, Uttarkashi, Guptkashi, Maneri, etc. Apart from food distribution, medical camps, rescue assistance, transportation to safe places, helpline centres for relatives of pilgrims were also conducted. Approximately 5,000 swayamsevaks served tirelessly in different areas. There are many places where roads were completely washed away. The swayamsevaks had to walk kms carrying the relief material on their backs. They also crossed tough and high hills with the load of relief items, trying to reach far flung villages.
In Chamba, the relief camp began on June 22 and approx 10,000 people were provided food and medical assistance regularly. Chamba is a junction connecting all four ways of the Chardham Yatra (Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath). A huge shelter was established in village Dikhol, where pilgrims were provided food, medicine and other necessary things of their need. Transport assistance was also provided to about 8,200 pilgrims from Uttarkashi and Chinyali Saudh to Rishikesh from June 21 to 24. Since about 200 villages are the worst affected in floods and some of them have totally washed away, the swayamsevaks are still trying to reach there with relief. Flood devastated villagers were also shifted to safer places.
RSS Uttaranchal takes initiative to trace missing persons
Still missing, contact the Sangh swayamsevaks
Uttaranchal unit of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) appealed to all the Sangh units across the country to provide details of the missing persons from their respective areas so that the swayamsevaks in Uttarakhand can trace whereabouts of the missing persons.
In a letter wrote to all Prant Sanghachalaks and Prant Karyavahs, Uttaranchal Prant Karyavah Shri Lakshmi Prasad Jaiswal and Prant Sanghachalak Shri Shashikant Dixit appealed to provide details of the missing persons including their name, age, district, address, Prant, landline number, mobile number, the place where the last call was received, date, time, etc. “As we all are aware that the natural calamity of June 16-17 caused havoc in Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath and many pilgrims including the local people have been washed away or died and some yet to reach their homes after the calamity, the swayamsevaks in Uttarakhand have decided to trace the missing persons if they are provided with some information about the missing persons. While preparing the list of the missing persons, the help of other organisations can also be sought,” the letter said. Anyone, can contact the Sangh workers to seek their help.
Any information about the missing persons can be sent to the following:
Shri Shashikant Dixit
Prant Sanghachalak, 09412950191
Laxmi Prasad Jaiswal
Prant Karyavah, 09412056755