The two sides of the Uttarakhand disaster

From the Times of India website: “The incessant rain that hit Uttarakhand from June 14 triggered flash floods and landslides, leading to thousands of deaths, while thousands more are missing. Over 1,00,000 people have been evacuated so far from the affected areas. Helping people rebuild their lives is the biggest challenge for the Uttarakhand government – in fact, for the whole country.”

The Uttarakhand tragedy claimed a massive toll in terms of lives and property. This macabre event also and gave us extremely sickening headlines like – “Tsunami from the skies”, “29 of a Khanpur family missing in Uttarakhand” and “Rain halts relief operations in calamity-hit Uttarakhand.” The Indian Army swung into action like true heroes, and they alone rescued 42,542 people.

But from the ashes of despair, rose the other side of the story of this calamity, how the entire nation came together to contribute. Right from celebrities, to plain ordinary people, loads of people ‘gave’ – to help rebuild destroyed lives, and heal wounded minds.

One of those who led the humanitarian efforts was a familiar name, Helpage India. And at Suyati, we’re happy that we were able to aid their efforts. With employee contributions, and a dip into the corporate chest, we donated over Rs. 1,00,000 to help out.

Pradhan of Triyugi Narayan: “..The health services which are being run in the far remote locations of this Gram Panchayat by HelpAge India is commendable and we want that in future all such services/activities of HelpAge India must continue..”

Helpage India translated our goodwill into 56 Winter Kits – just what the lonely village of Maikhanda, Rudraprayag District, located high in the Himalayan foothills needed. Each kit contained: Blanket; Dari; Shawls; Jackets; Gamchcha; Woollen Socks; Scarf; Comb; and Hair Bands.

Pradhan of Khat: “..It is indeed a pleasure to know that in such a natural calamity/disaster, you have given immense support to the common people and community which is commendable. In future also we expect the same from you..”

And the response from the various villages touched by Helpage India has moved us all. The efforts are well worth it. But remember, the rehabilitation of these remote villages is a long drawn and painstaking process. More work is needed. According to Helpage India’s Director & State Head (Kerala) Biju Mathew, “Rehabilitation in terms of long-term shelter and livelihood restoration still remains a major challenge for survival of local village communities, now going into severe winter months. The rehabilitation initiatives require further funds and commitment for 2-3 year financial sponsorship. Should you be interested we will be happy to share details.”

Contributions are welcome! Just get in touch with Vinod, who enthusiastically drives Suyati’s charity initiatives.

Author : Subin Jacob Date : 07 Nov 2013