2001 Gujarat earthquake victims' families pay tribute to their deceased kids

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Ahmedabad, Jan.26 (ANI): As the country celebrated the 61st Republic Day of the country, survivors of the Gujarat earthquake remembered their loved ones who died in the natural calamity which shocked the country on January 26 in 2001.

Family members of the 32 schoolchildren, killed in the earthquake nine years ago, had moist eyes remembering their loving kids as they paid them a tribute on Tuesday.

Scores of people joined these parents in the hour of sorrow and remembrance to pay homage to the 32 children, who were buried alive under the debris of their school building in the devastating earthquake.

Aged seven to twelve, these children were participating in the Republic Day celebrations at the Swaminarayan school, when the tragedy occurred. They were among an estimated 30,000 people killed in different parts of Gujarat in one of the worst natural disasters in recent times.

Today, on the Republic Day, the haunting memories came alive as survivors prayed and offered floral tributes before the photographs of the victims.

"The government has worked a lot to provide relief and aid to the people but the loss of the families who lost their kids, cannot be fulfilled with any money or building or any other thing. They can never get their children back," said Vashishtha Kumar Upadhyay, kin of a victim.

Though everyday prayers are conducted in the memory of these schoolchildren and a memorial outside the school has been made, but Tuesday was overwhelming for one and all.

The earthquake, that cut a swathe through large parts of Gujarat, was the worst natural disaster to hit India since independence in 1947. The damage was estimated at 300 billion rupees ($6.2 billion). (ANI)

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