Saturday, July 6, 2013

Nature is Mightier than Man

I returned from Gangotri after a 10 days ordeal and witnessed the might and fury of natural elements viz. Thunder storms, ferocious rivers, and rolling down huge boulders. We could only shudder in fear and horror and realised the helplessness of humans before the mighty nature.

On return we are disturbed and frustrated to read and hear about the uncharitable commentaries being made about the arrangements made by several establishment agencies and how the tragedy could be controlled or mitigated. Let us realise that Uttarkhand is an expanse of high hill and river with a little space for plain surface. Assuming that there were warnings about heavy rains and cloud burst then what preventive measures are possible to hold back the deluges that followed. There was an unprecedented rush of pilgrims at all the four Dhams this year particularly at Kedar Nath which bore the maximum brunt and loss of human lives. At all other places the entire villages ,animals and properties like Hotels were washed away like pack of paper boats. No power on the earth could save them. Let us also not forget that countries like Japan & U.S.A. Despite most technological advancement and early warnings could not face the fury of nature in Fukushima and Ohaio.

    What we appreciate is the role of Army and local establishment which asked us to move out immediately and helped transport in trucks to nearest Helipad at Harsil. There were 4000 stranded pilgrims and Army provided from bed tea to breakfast, lunch, dinner and milk for babies throughout the stay till transported by Helicopter to a safe place. They helped us carry our luggage and instead of going to the Hospital brought the affable Army Doctor Capt. N.K.Singh to attend us. We will be ungrateful creatures to forget these acts of human benevolence.
   On way to Rishikesh by free Buses run by the State Govt. The people of small towns stopped us and offered meals, biscuits, medicines, bottled water as well as money who needed it. That it was happening in India and in economically backward region made every one's eyes moist in disbelief.
   Let us not be unreasonable to condemn this or that but appreciate the gigantic task faced by the Army, local population and the NGOs who worked tirelessly to help the stranded pilgrims. Now the priority should be to look after the rehabilitation of local population who have lost everything.

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