Applause from Union Minister Harish Rawat, army and air force officers. Army officers invite swayamsevaks for breakfast and get photos clicked.
Uttarakhand witnessed huge devastation during the recent tragedy. Thousands died, lots of children became orphans, many women became widows and thousands of families became homeless. Not even a single member of many families survived.
We created a relief camp at Saraswati Shishu Vidya Mandir Inter College. Pilgrims from many states including Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh stayed there from June 16 to 29. The pilgrims stranded in Harsil, Maneri etc. due to closing of National Highway were brought to Chinyali Sour helipad through the Air Force helicopters. We, with the help of local people, made arrangements for meals and refreshment for them. Food was provided to nearly 800 to 1000 pilgrims on daily basis from morning 5 to 11 at night. In total, about 6500 pilgrims had meals there. Besides them, police personnel, revenue department officers, transport department workers and also drivers had meals there regularly. Not only this, District Magistrate, Suprintendent of Police and many other senior officials also had meals at the relief camp.
State Chief Minister Shri Vijay Bahuguna, Leader of Opposition Shri Ajya Bhatt and many Cabinet Ministers also visited the camp. Union Minister Shri Harish Rawat praised if wholeheartedly. Impressed over the arrangements made at the camp, Air Force captain Shri MK Yadav expressed the desire to meet the organisers of the camp. He said, “I have never seen such a dedication, service spirit and patriotism in my whole life, which I have seen here. I, alongwith my pilots, want to have photographs with such dedicated swayamsevaks.” Army captain Shri Manu Tiwari invited all the swayamsevaks for breakfast on June 28 and thanked them for their support.
Apart from the swayamsevaks, the local people also in good number extended full support to the relief camp. Many government employees, youth, women, shopkeepers and people’s representatives also extended support. Prominent among those who joined us in the organisation of the camp included Shri Subhash Nautiyal, Shri Devidatt Upreti, Shri Anil Arora, Shri Sarvanand Nautiyal, Shri Manvir Singh Panwar, Shri Rajendra Singh Bisht, Shri Ramendra Semalti, Shri Vishalmani Nautiyal, Shri Mohanlal Mamgai, Shri Virendra Singh Negi, Shri Shailendramani Bhatt, Shri Vinod Ghildiyal, Shri Dhirendra Singh Rawat, Shri Ranjeet Singh Rawat, etc.
(The writer is Principal of Saraswati Shishu Vidya Mandir Inter College Chinyali Sour, Uttarkashi.)