West Bengal Co-Ordination committee of Central Govt. Employees sent Relief to Utterakhand: a memorable experience.
Brief from Com. Goutam Praminick
Three representatives of the Co-Ordination Committee of Central Govt. Employees & Workers Unions and Associations,West Benglal reached “Rorkhar Bung” in Ukhimath Tehessil in Rudraprayag district, Uttarkhand on 26th October 2013 with relief materials like food and woolen materials for three hundred families living in the area. Stay of the comrades was arranged by Com Rajaram Semwal of CITU.
On way to Kedar, at on attitude of 7000ft., villagers of Fata, Uttarkhand have been earning livelihood for decades by providing service to the million of pilgrims and tourist throughout the year. They lost all means of livelihood like ponneys, mules, wayside tea stalls. Everything was ruined and sole earning members of the many families were killed in disaster that took place on 16th June 2013.
A picture of devastation was visible everywhere. No road exists after Rudraprayag. In fact trucks loaded with relief material and car carrying volunteers rolled on avalanches to reach destination. Debris and ruins of roads and buildings were visible all along in road side.
State govt. assured free ration for all for three months. Sending ration needs road transport. In absence of road, question of transport is far from sight. Stat Govt. acted most callously. However when Central Govt. stepped in with Border Road organization, road construction work got some pace. Shockingly, Border Road organization, as alleged, cared a little for construction as well as environmental norms. For example during construction work garbage and derbies are thrown into riverbeds which affects ecological system of the state severely.
However as the main opposition political party was very keen, Uttarakhand Government lost no time to repair Kedarnath temple and regular worship started within a short period. Helipads were built in many places and helicopter service for ferrying rich devotees to Kedarnath temple in exchange of hefty amount were arranged promptly. Redundant to mention, many businessmen found here a new area for brisk business.
There leaders of Central Govt. Employees Co-Ordination Committee, West Bengal Com. Goutam Pramanik, Com. Arup chatterjee and Com. Shyamalendu Ghosh reached Fata village with three hundred packs of relief material each pack contained five kgs of rice, five kgs of Atta, one ltr of mustered oil, two and half kgs of sugar, one kg Sooji, one kg salt, two kgs of pulse, five hundred grams of tea leaves, packets of spices like cumin, chilli, turmeric, coriander power, soaps, detergent, toothpaste and also a pullover, a blanket and a cap.
On 27th October 2013. the team reached Phata village .Com Judhbir of Uttarkhand Central Govt. employees Co-Ordination Committee and science movement activists Com. Indresh Notial Com.Kamalesh accompanied them In three Villages three hundred packs of relief material were handed over to three hundred families. Leaders of Central govt. Employees got an unforgettable experience when women, children and old villagers came down with basket of cane, received the materials and thanked passionately with indigenous style and language. Yet the story of agony and terrible memories of losing nearest kin on the day of deluge moved all the activists who were present.
It is understandable that the relief provide was inadequate. Even the relief work that is being done in the devastated area (mainly by left political parties and some mass organization ) is by no way near the minimum need of the seriously affected people. The only silver living, as learnt from Com. Vijay Rawat ,Vice president of CITU is the programme of movement going to be launched by CPI(M) in the month of November 2013 on the demand of compensation, road construction and relief with restoration of public distribution system.