ibnlive » India » Uttarakhand

Jun 27, 2013 at 12:39am IST

Uttarakhand floods: While pilgrims and tourists get evacuated, locals cry for help

Joshimath relief camp: While the focus has been on pilgrims stranded in Uttarakhand, an even bigger crisis confronts the local populations. Two villages on the way to Hemkund Sahib have been washed away and its 500 residents, who depend on pilgrims and tourists for their livelihood, have been left with close to nothing.

They have all been moved to a relief camp at Joshimath and are uncertain about their future. 85-year old Kharak Singh said he has never seen a calamity of this magnitude in his lifetime - a village settled by his forefathers ravaged and brought to the ground.

Nothing remains of their winter village of Beundhar. The 500 odd villagers barely managed to survive. Most of the villagers watched as their villages were washed away.

Some managed to capture nature's fury on their mobile phones - water gushing down taking what they taken years to build in a matter of minutes and leaving women and children in trauma.

They are now requesting the government for rehabilitation at a new location at Kanzila. They also want a settlement in Joshimath. While immediate rehabilitation is the key, an appeal is also being made to corporate houses.

With roads at several places cut badly and no homes to go to, it will be a long time before their lives return to normal.