Flood Disaster in Uttarakhand Province of North India -Report from Rishikesh
On June 28th, AMDA Coordinator went to Rishikesh for survey in collaboration with two local doctors from an organization called "WESAF Society" (Water, Earth, Sky, Air and Fire - Five Major Elements of the World).
In response to the disaster, AMDA with the great initiative of WESAF Society immediately sent the relief supplies, such as medicines and food packs, to two different locations, Joshmath and Govind Ghat. Members of the "Association of Horses and Mules"(the main source of income in this region) helped to carry relief supplies through the treacherous hill paths by foot joined by a paramedic staff and a pharmacist from Asha Hospital owned by the founding Saxena-Family. AMDA supported their activity by contributing the medicines for this relief mission.
In the program, the food packets were distributed at the special shelters in Govind Ghat where the stranded pilgrims took refuge. The medicines donated by AMDA were distributed in Joshimath, and around 170 patients were treated for cough, common cold, pain, fever, allergy and gastrointestinal infections.
Rishikesh was damaged by the flash flood when the Ganges broke the bank at many places. However, the people were prepared and expected the flood so human casualties were none. Many people are frustrated with the current chaotic situation from the flood. There were many 24-hour shelters established by the government and local religious organizations to provide food, water and medicine for the affected people. All the evacuees and are pilgrims who are returning back to their original homes.
The following day, AMDA Coordinator left Dehradun for Sri Nagar on a bus trip with the Border Guards/ Police (Sashastra Seema Bal) section of the Indian Army. However, the road condition was still extremely hazardous with land slides every few meters and constantly falling rocks.
With the forecasted heavy rain in the next few days, AMDA Coordinator made a decision to return to Delhi to avoid the danger of the road completely shut down.
Through the assessment, AMDA Coordinator learned that there was little local and foreign NGOs can do. The ample relief goods were distributed by the government, meaning there were no needs for emergency relief activity right now. According to the local residents, the need for assistance will certainly rise in a few weeks once the affected people start returning to their original places.
AMDA coordinator along with two local doctors from WESAF Society will continue to survey different areas that need support. WESAF Society also planning to send more medicine, blankets and tarpaulins as soon as the roads are cleared for regular travel.