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.
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.
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.