Villagers chip in with relief, civil admin silent spectator

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Bangalore, June 25: The Uttarakhand flood chapter has opened our eyes to both black and white shades of human nature. While there are reports of locals looting dead bodies and survivors, there are other stories of heroic efforts by the locals and the army officials saving the life of the stranded.

It is nine days since the disaster of Uttarakhand struck and several make-shift camps have been set up to shelter the rescued and the army officials on the rescue mission. Food packets and medicines too have been air-dropped in a number of places. Naturally, the resources have gone down. While it takes some time for the relief material to arrive from across the country, Army officials have to manage with the resources they are left with.

rescue ops

There have been instances when the army security officials had to forego one day's meal to feed the flood victims. In such a tight situation, the locals stood by the army as they pooled in food materials and clothes from the nearby villages.

Such is the case of Harsil Camp, which once hosted around 6,000 people, but lacks resources now. The 5 gharwal posts here poured in the last bit of their ration and Baghori (a small village) chipped in.

Several such villagers have helped the Army in many ways, helping them construct make-shift camps, roads and bridges, and most of all rescuing people. On asking one of them about the reported loot of dead bodies, he said "I feel sorry that everybody thinks that we have been doing this, but its the Nepali migrants here who have such tendencies. The other day, I saw one of them using a ply to cut open a gold chain from a body's neck."

Locals further confirm that they have seen outsiders hiding in the forest to steal valuables from the pilgrims and the victims.

Civil authorities, however, turned a blind eye to the situation here. Helping the army jawans is a distant thought, they have not yet suggested how to go about resurrecting the city after the rescue ops are over. "They can at least help by providing us some ration. We have requested help from them, but they seem to be pretty indifferent to the entire situation," said an army official.

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