Friday, July 5, 2013

Three young lives,cut short by the flash floods-Can we help their poor families please?

It rained for most part of Saturday of 15thJune and those three kids were tired of walking their ponies uphill amidst heavy downpour. As they reached Ghendurpanee- the place of their night halt- they tied their ponies at the designated spots and decided to cook their meals. While one of them was given the task to knead the flour, other two took the responsibility of preparing the fire and cooking vegetables respectively. They were busy sharing their day experience with each other, cracking jokes every now and then; while anxiously waiting for cooking to get over- for hungry they were!

But destiny had something else in store for them and all of a sudden, water came gushing down the slope. Scared kids began to run helter-skelter, towards higher slopes of Garurchatti. As they were trying to save their own lives, their eyes were on their ponies. They could see water and rocks, which flash floods brought with it, hit their ponies to wash them of their feet. Ponies were all gone in a matter of minutes.

River was in a murderous mood but the desire to live kept them going. They were crying for their ponies but no help was forthcoming; everyone else was busy saving their own lives. Dark night, extreme cold and hunger were busy conspiring with each other; the sole aim was to defeat their innate desire to live. Horrified and poorly clothed, all three hid themselves in bushes; waiting for rains to subside. They knew that the night is going to be long and lonely and will test their zeal for life to the limit. It was raining very heavily and the shock of flash floods washing their ponies was still afresh in their minds. Gathering their courage, they waited for dawn to break. But, dawn-break wasn't what they thought it to be; for it brought with, more horror and devastation.

And, the zeal for life began giving way to helplessness; hunger and thirst was sapping them out of whatever was left inside their frail bodies. All three of them were walking together, trying to find their way out of their misery, pain and suffering. But the situation they were in, got better of their desire for life and they became unconscious; to die after few hours because of hypothermia, hunger & thirst. Three young lives were nipped in the bud, their dreams remained dreams and so did aspirations. Those three young lives belonged to Kuldeep, Sumit and Bipin. Kuldeep- youngest of the three-was just 13 while Sumit and Bipin were 15 years old. Kuldeep and Sumit had joined Bipin, only two days prior to that fateful night. Kuldeep’s mom wasn’t in favor of sending him, but her husband-Vasudev-prevailed upon her as he had work back home in village. But she agreed to send him on the condition that someone will accompany him. That’s how Sumit, Vasudev’s nephew decided to accompany Kuldeep; never to return again!

I spoke to father of all three of them while we were at Raelgaon, building a wire-bridge atop river Mandakini to connect that village and 10 other villages to Phata, in collaboration with Shri Shailesh Pandey of Kashi’s Sakaar Seva Samiti. Moved by the plight of villagers of Raelgaon, Shailesh had arranged for material to be delivered to Guptakashi and was actively involved in laying the bridge. You can hear Vasudev speak about his son here.

The idea behind sharing the tragic story of Kuldeep, Sumit and Bipin is to request folks to help their families. All three of them were from poor families- who have not only lost their young sons but also their income sources-ponies- in this tragedy. It would be great if some monetary assistance can be provided to their families. Anyone willing to contribute to this cause can write to me at alok@natureconnect.in. I will provide them the numbers of their parents, for you to speak with them. Alternatively, I can get their account number and bank details and you can deposit money directly into their account.

Had our government been responsive and caring enough, there wouldn’t have been any need for this request; sadly they don’t care for loss of lives in this tragedy. Please do help families of Kuldeep, Sumit and Bipin. We know that they won’t come back but at least they can see from above that there are unknown people who are willing to stand behind their beloved families, in their hour of need.

Here are pictures of father of Kuldeep, Sumit and Vipin in that order!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

how to contribute...?

Raj Arora said...

Alok,
Whatever happened there is tragic and it moves something inside. Don't want anything like this to happen again ever.

Appreciate the good selfless contribution you are making in your way as usual and I am proud of you my friend.

Take care,
Raj

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