Flood relief work in Srinagar

1. Debris clearance from Shakti Vihar, Srinagar

Shakti Vihar, near SSB Training ground, on the banks of River Alakananda in Srinagar was badly hit due to the floods. The debris was 8 feet high and 63 houses were severely affected.

Monetary contributions from Art of Living, Srinagar was used to hire labourers to clear the mud and silt from these houses. Volunteers numbering 25, under the guidance of Dr Monika Pathania and Dr Aditi Chaturvedi, also joined their hands in clearing the debris. The team also met Nagar Palika Adyakash, Vipin Maithani, SDM Srinagar, Raza Abbas and various other NGOs working here to better co-ordinate the relief efforts. Each NGO adopted 1-2 houses. The administration increased number of JCB's, Dumpers and labourers for faster clearing of debris. The GVK Company, which was involved in the dam construction in Srinagar agreed to take care of 35 out of 63 houses affected. The AOL team adopted 3 Houses, of which 2 have been cleared of debris and the work on clearing the third house is in progress.

2. Relief Camp @ Srikot, Srinagar : Medical aid & Bhandara Seva

A relief camp was set up in Srikot, Srinagar from 24th June. Food was being cooked and served for survivors from Kedarnath and Badrinath, who arrived in government buses. The AOL team received a mini truck and 2 utility vehicles of food and water from the centers at Sahranpur and Kaithal. Volunteers like Mrs Asha and her brother Sudhir started a langar seva in the evenings that served food to hundreds from 7pm-11pm. For those survivors who were not able to reach the Langar due to damaged roads, the volunteers drove up to to Sirobhgarh and then walked a kilometer to distribute tea and biscuits in the morning.

One survivor recounted his tragic tale of having lost everything---family members as well as his belongings---and how he had had to walk all the way from Kedarnath to Srinagar, where the AOL team took care of him, providing him with a room, food and some cash. Medical Camps were also organized by the doctors in the volunteer team.

3. Medical Camp at Gauchar

23rd June 13:

On 23rd June, 2013 as soon as the roads were cleared for traveling, a team of AOL doctors set up a camp at Gauchar for distribution of the relief material and setting up a medical camp. The relief material was handed over to the helicopters for air dropping it to the affected areas like Kedar Valley.

Dr Monica, Dr Vyas and Dr Amit along with the medical student, Rohit, set up a medical relief camp at Gauchar air base for providing immediate relief care to the Victims. Mr Neeraj Sharma counseled the victims who had undergone trauma. Swami Vishshwachaitanya, Dr Harish and Bhartendu ji & Lalit reached with relief material to be distributed via choppers.

4. Visit to Villages

The AOL team also helped the local villages like Silli, Chandrapuri, Vijayanagar, Agastyamuni and many others that had been affected by the tragedy

1. Silli Village

27th June 13:

A team of 6 people, led by Dr Harish Chaturvedi, that included Dr Amit, Dr Sunil, Dr Shashank, Dr Shiraz, Md Ariz visited Silli, a small village located near Agastyamuni. The roads leading up to the village had been badly damaged, and a longer, alternative route had to be taken to reach there.

The team set up a medical camp and the relief distribution camp here and distributed the medicines and relief material to more than 80 families.

2. Chandrapuri

29th June 13:

The village of Chandrapuri had been devastated and had been almost entirely cut off as the road network that leads up to the village had been badly damaged.

44 houses had been completely demolished and the villagers had been long waiting for help. They were indeed relieved to see the AOL team, that included volunteers from all over the country) arrive. AOL was the first organization that had reached the village since the devastation.

There had been no electricity for the past two weeks. The villagers said they were relieved to see our team and hoped that we would support them. The team stayed overnight in the village and had set up a medical and relief distribution camp – distributing medicines, food grains--- 10 kg flour, 5 kg rice, 2kg dal, blankets, torches, raincoats, tents among other things, to 58 villagers.

The volunteers from Chattisgarh stayed for another day in the village to help out some more. They also organized satsang in the evening for everyone.The AOL team has also decided to adopt the entire village for its rehabilitation.

3. Vijayanagr & Agastyamuni

30th June 13:

On June 30th, 2013 – A dedicated 4 member volunteer team from Nasik - Mr Vilas Narayan (Sri Sri Yoga Teacher), Sunit, Tushar and Abhishek (YES Plus Volunteer) reached Vijayanagar village near Agastyamuni and distributed relief material.

30th June 13:

The villages near Ukimath had been severely affected by the flood. On June 29th, 2013, a team of volunteers which included Mr Prabhat (Patna) and Mrigank (Bangalore) went to Ukhimath and with the help of Block Pramukh, Mr Fateh Singh Rawat, surveyed the 11 gram panchayats. They met the affected families. The team covered 30 km in 3 Days on foot and distributed the relief material to 55 affected families.

The team also performed a commendable job of surveying the area and preparing a map of the entire region with all the villages, which would serve as a roadmap for all the future relief work in the area.

Pauri and adjoining villages

2nd July 13:

A 4 member team from Nasik –Mr Vilas, Sumit, Abhishek and Tushar --visited villages around Pauri, Gothind and distributed the relief material and medicines in the villages.

4. Guptkashi/Kalimath

3rd July 13:

A team of two doctors, Dr Sunil and Dr Shashank, along with the team from Nasik, visited Guptkashi. They travelled long distances to set up a medical & relief camp under leadership of advanced course teacher, Bhartendu ji.

5. Guptkashi

7th July 13:

A team of volunteers, which included Chandan, Ajay & Parag from Mumbai, surveyed 12 villages including Lambgondi, Lwara, Nagiagai and others. They met affected families who had lost their members working in Kedar ghati. Food grains, carried on shoulder or on backs, were distributed to over 100 families, where women and children were the only survivors.

6. Kalimath

On 9th July

Kund village could not be reached due to bad roads. Volunteers had to stay at BasuKedar---15 km before Kund. Dr Harish's team had to clear the way as blocks also existed in alternative route. Landslides had brought down stones and boulders on the road, which had to be cleared before vehicles could move forward. Somehow the teams managed to reach Basu Kedar by noon. They stayed in a lodge and prepared food by 1 pm. The vehicles were left 2km behind and the volunteers walked with torches in these slide-prone areas.

On 10th July

As the vehicles had been left 2km before Basukedar, the only option was to wait for the JCB to clear the road. It took one full day for the JCB to clear the roads after which the volunteers walked down to the Kund, Neli village

On 11th July

JCB could not clear the road, so the villagers had to trek up to a point where distribution of kits were being done. People of Chandrapuri, Kund and Neli village were very thankful for the help received from AOL.