Hundreds of people killed and thousands are missing and numerous injured in worst ever cloud burst and flash floods in Leh which caused unprecedented destruction in the entire district in general and Leh town in particular. In adverse conditions, Volunteers of Sewa Bharati and RSS have started all-out rescue and relief operations.
Leh preview- Affected area
Before the people and administration could wake up to the prevailing situation, the natural calamity had caused unprecedented damages everywhere. The district hospital was flooded, bus stands flattened and vehicles were seen floating in the heart of town. The communication equipment of BSNL got completely damaged in the flash floods thereby tying the hands of the administration in starting early relief and rescue operations as damage to the telephone exchange rendered all the mobiles and landline phones useless.
Flooded hospitals, flattened bus stands, washed away houses and floating cars amidst echo of wailing people were all that was left after the flash floods. What to talk of road connectivity with Kargil, the road link of Leh town with adjoining villages got completely snapped as numerous culverts and bridges got washed away in the floods.
The update on RSS and seva bharati relief work
RSS at Leh flood relief programmes- Photos
Meanwhile RSS training camp (ITC) was under way near Leh when this disaster struck. Suspending the Camp activity, all Swayamseveks immediately rushed at the catastrophe site and started rescue and relief operations immediately. In the meantime the Sewa Bharti J&K through its unit in Leh in cooperation with Ladakh Singhay Chospa has already established a relief operation camp in Leh and is looking after the needs of the affected people.
In Jammu, Sewa Bharati Jammu and Kashmir organised an emergency meeting in which social workers of many organizations attended the meeting to chalk out the strategy to provide immediate relief to the victims of Natural Disaster in Leh. All members paid homage to those who died in this disaster and formed a trust under the Name Ladhak Aapdha Sahayata Samiti to assist the victims and affected families in Leh. Brig. (Retd.) Suchet Singh has been unanimously elected President of this trust. Dr. Kuldeep Gupta will work as secretary and Sh. Abay Pargal will be the treasure of this trust.
As an immediate measure, some cash donations were immediately transferred from Jammu to the group of Swayamsevaks working in Leh. They have purchased whatever relief material they can get form nearby local markets and started distributing them. According to latest report, a relief package of 2000 blankets, a set of utensils for 500 families, 2000 clothes and 500 shoes is on the way and will reach the calamity site any time today. Some injured from Leh who have now arrived at Jammu are also being contacted by Seva Bharati workers to provide them necessary help.
LASS has opened an account in Punjab National Bank for this purpose having A/c No. 1948000101057923. LASS requested the people to donate liberally for the flood Victims of Leh.
SEWA BHARTI JAMMU KASHMIR & LADHAK
CLOUDBURST and FLASH FLOODS in LEH (J & K)
APPEAL for RELIEF -2010
Leh the capital of Ladakh was devastated by two cloud bursts followed by the unprecedented rains. Ladakhthe second largest district after Kutch in Gujrat in terms of area is also known as land of high passes or broken moon. Surrounded by Kunlun mountain range in the North, Himalayas in the South, it is the sparsely populated regions of the J&K State. Renowned for its remote mountain beauty and culture Ladakh has Tibet to the East, Lahul Spiti to its South, Jammu,Kashmir to its West and Kunlun region to its North. Leh also has the distinction of being one of the few remaining abodes of the Budhism in South .Himalayas create a rain shadow denying entry to monsoon clouds. The average rainfall being 90mm. It is with such geographic conditions that houses in Leh and other parts of Ladakh are mostly constructed of mud and mud bricks, which also helps them to maintain heat during the extreme winter months.
Destiny, however, had different designs when on Thursday night there were two cloud bursts in Choglamsar area of Leh which were followed by flash floods resulting into considerable portion of the old Leh town and to the new settlements in Choglamsar area. All this occurred in the dead of night when the people of Ladakh unmindful of the designs of the nature were lost in the world of dreams and were woken up by the roaring sound of the gushing water and cries of their helpless brethren. No one was aware as to what had happened and no one got the time to completely come out of their sleep and act for their safety in absolute darkness. Infact no one can act under such circumstances and before anybody could realise what catastrophe had befallen them they had been washed away or buried under tons of debris.
According to the latest conservative estimates 132 bodies have been recovered so far, more than 600 are missing besides the injured whose number is around 500. The link roads to Leh from Kulu Manali as also National High Way 1D connecting Ladakh to rest of the State and country have been blocked. The Choglamsar was reportedly inhabited by around 150 houses but the cloudbursts and the flash floods have devasted it completely and there is no trace of any inhabitation. This perhaps is the impact of global warming.
The devastation of this magnitude needs restoration on all fronts. On psychological front expression of sympathy and nearness with those who lost their near and dear ones, who lost their belongings etc.,on economic front immediate mitigation of the problems of those who survived the calamity but who lost every bit of their saved and secured future. No help, howsoever, of what-so-ever measure it may be can restore the original peace and tranquillity. The task is gigantic and beyond the competence of one agency or one organisation. The affected people need beddings, clothing, utensils, stores and many items of day to day need. Above all they need a roof over their heads to protect them from the ensuing harsh winter which when comes stays on and on.
On an average a Family requires at least 4 quilts 4 blankets and equal number of mattresses 4 pillows a big darri. All this material suitable for high altitude places like Leh where the temperature goes below zero degree Celsius during winter months which start from October latest by early November. The approximate cost of these items works out to Rs 6500 per family of four members.
In clothing sweaters, warm shirts, inners, jeans/warm trousers, jackets are required. The average cost works out to around Rs.8000.
As regards utensils the minimum requirements are one pressure cooker of at least 5 Lts capacity, 6 plates for lunch/dinner, 6 glasses, 6 katori, 2 patila with lids, 2 buckets per family. The approximate cost works out to around Rs.2000.
The cost of constructing dwelling units comprising 2 rooms (one room 12*12 and the other one 12*15 including kitchen) in mud with tin roof will cost approximately Rs. 2-2.25 lac without labour component for which we intend to involve the beneficiary. The estimates are only tentative and may vary depending upon the requirements of the site. Similarly the requirement is based on an assumption of 4 member family the factual position can be assessed only after the connectivity is restored. In the meantime the Sewa Bharti J&K through its unit in Leh in cooperation with Ladakh Singhay Chospa has already established a relief operation camp in Leh and is looking after the needs of the beneficiaries.
As already stated the task is gigantic in nature and surmountable only when we move together in the specified direction with a cause for our brethren who suffered the nature’s fury for no fault of theirs. Their plight needs to be visualised and their pain felt in our own hearts. Let us then dedicate ourselves for this noble cause and contribute our might in whatever way it suits us. Donations for the cause can be made on-line in A/c no.1948000101057923 Punjab National Bank for.
For further information please contact: Telephone:094191109 40, 09419758339, 09419143516
SEWA BHARTI ,VISHNU SEWA KUNJ, VED MANDIR COMPLEX, AMPHALLA JAMMU, J & K.