Incessant rains and flashfloods have made life miserable for those on the Himalayan slopes in Uttarakhand who have lost their dear ones, homes and their lifesavings to the rising waters and slush. Initiated by the Art of Living (AOL), International Association of Human Values (IAHV, a sister concern of AOL), volunteers rushed to Uttarakhand to provide immediate relief to the evacuees in the disaster areas. What follows is an account by some AOL volunteers of the relief work done since landing at the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun.
Relief work started at 4 am on Day One in coordination with the military and Disaster Management teams, and Government of Uttarakhand agencies to send relief materials to the pilgrims and locals, stuck in different areas. A break up of the activities in various areas would underline the nature of services rendered to help the stranded victims reeling under Nature's fury.
AdvertisementAt Goranch Camp and Dhorasu Camp, volunteers set up medical camps supplying food materials including milk powder baby food, rice, dal, biscuits, water and other essentials. Already truck loads of food materials have been distributed in the area and more relief materials are being sent.
At Gupt Kashi Camp volunteers are distributing packets of raw materials including rice, dal, spices and tea leaves weighting 5kgs. Medicines are supplied to the affected people, with relief work extending to nearby villages as well.
Relief work at the Jolly Grant Airport, IAF air base at Dehradun, includes all the loading, distribution of relief materials at the airport and supporting the trauma-struck people coming in from remote locations. The rescue work by the Indian armed forces supported by Art of living volunteers is on, via helicopters and by the roads too.
Laborers from the local administration need help in cleaning the Malba (silt and slush) from houses and road. Further, trauma-relief meditation is conducted continuously for the healing of traumatized evacuees, who are reaching the airport in transit before they move on to their hometowns. Apart from rescuing pilgrims, there is a crying need to start focusing on local villages as well, since everything is washed away and the people are left with nothing.
Relief work planned for the next few days
Relief workers from the AOL have chalked out plans to work in coordination with local government agencies and the Indian armed forces:
• To reach out to more remote areas, where relief has not yet reached.
• To continue to work in unison with the military and the local administration to expedite the rescue operation before another spell of bad weather.
• To conduct more medical camps in different affected areas.
• To conduct Trauma Relief workshops for the affected victims for their healing and solace and to continue their rehabilitation.
Contributions required in kind
Volunteers list the kind of items that would facilitate their rescue work and help the people stranded in Uttarakhand. Items needed include tents, food items such as rice, pulses, oil, spices, milk powder, cooking utensils, blankets, torch +batteries, candles, umbrellas, solar lanterns, solar chargers ( small ) for recharge and buckets
• Swami Divyananda- +91 9627057932
• Swami Vishwachetanya- +91 9756484909
• Bhartendu- +91 9896790734
• Saket Gupta- +91 9811476797
• Sangita Gujrati- +91 9342540105
Founded in 1981 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, The Art of Living is a global educational and humanitarian movement engaged in stress-management and service initiatives. The programs are guided by Sri Sri's philosophy of peace: "Unless we have a stress-free mind and a violence-free society, we cannot achieve world peace."
Rushing to help those in need is a good way to heal the world, especially so in times of disaster and distress as witnessed in the colossal human suffering that still continues unabated in the flooded areas in and around Uttarakhand.
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