Almost 3 weeks after heavy rains and landslides devastated Uttarakhand, thousands of villagers remain in grave danger. The pilgrims were evacuated, but local people face food shortages, health problems, and lack of shelter in the monsoon. Over 4,000 villages were affected – homes destroyed, crops ruined, families killed – and residents are waiting helplessly for rations to come by porter or helicopter. Our consultant, currently in Uttarakhand, reports of great suffering. He says the Army is trying to evacuate some villages but people refuse to leave their broken homes, fearing loss of property or hoping for the return of missing loved ones, likely long-dead. Several thousand people are still missing, and many local women (like the one pictured above) lost their sons or husbands while the men were ferrying pilgrims to Uttarakhand’s religious sites.
IDRF will create a rehabilitation program with direct cooperation and implementation from local NGOs, which will help these communities rebuild in a sustainable way. The situation will take time to assess, because the government has restricted NGOs’ entry into the flood-affected areas. Distribution of relief material is excruciatingly slow. Our consultant is attempting a preliminary survey but access is difficult. In addition, because of the terrain and extensive damage to roads and communications infrastructure, the most remote villages – which will need the most rehabilitation – are inaccessible even today.
These are the same local people who selflessly opened their homes to the pilgrims, and they need our help now. This tragedy compels us to come forward and extend maximum financial support. Please donate generously to help these people. IDRF has consultants on the ground now, and we intend work directly with other reputable local NGOs for relief and rehabilitation of the victims. IDRF has 25 years of experience in turning disasters into opportunities for long-term development, and we take pride in ensuring our donors’ money is used properly. All donations are tax-deductible in the US.
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