We are all responsible for Uttarakhand Floods 2013
Uttarakhand floods 2013, have left hundreds dead and destroyed whole towns, soon the blame game will begin with everybody trying to take political mileage out of the plight of stranded tourists and locals. As thousands lay stranded in the flood ravaged upper reaches of Uttarakhand, near the holy shrine of Kedarnath and Guptakashi, we city folks are watching it on idiot box and doing our bit by cursing the politicians and babus. But let us stop for a moment and do a bit of introspection also.
Let us go back to our class V text-book and remember what we learned
- Trees hold the soil together and help in controlling soil erosion and floods.
And we have done exactly the opposite of the same in last many decades. In Uttarakhand area right from Rishikesh and upwards, hundreds of dams and power plants are either built or under construction with the plea that this will produce clean electricity and control floods. But in the process millions of trees that take hundreds of years to grow have been axed with no replacement coming.
This has led to massive soil erosion and loosening of soil which is now showing in form of floods devastating whole towns. All these approvals for the dams and power plants were given in total disregards to environmental degradation and the consequences this massive construction in ecologically fragile area will suffer from. Avid environmental crusader Sunita Narain talks about how we are destroying our rivers in this well researched post she wrote some time back. She has been warning for more than a decade that we are not ready for a natural disaster that we are building but no body is willing to listen.
But how are you and me responsible you may question, is this all not the fault of politicians, bureaucrats and industrialists? Well read on
Every time you dump a plastic bag in nature, keep the AC on, burn petrol without need, demand cheap electricity, go for trekking in Himalayas and dump waste in the pristine surroundings, you are contributing to the floods. One wrapper of chocolate may seem insignificant in front of the mighty Himalayas, but when millions of people start doing the same, suddenly we have a mountain of waste bigger than the Himalayas. I do not have any moral rights to preach anybody. At this stage I just want to pray for the safety of people stranded without food and shelter in the devastated areas of Uttarakhand. I only want to pledge once again that I will be a responsible earthling and try to cut my carbon footprint as much as possible. I hope you too will do that otherwise one day we will be remembered as the generation that destroyed the only planet in solar system that had life, unfortunately there may not be anybody to remember that.
Here are helpline nos for relief efforts for Uttarakhand floods
Flood helpline numbers : 0135-2710334 , 0135-2710335 , 0135-2710233.
Nainital & around: 05946-250138.
Uttarkashi: 01374-226126, 226161
ITBP helpline and control room, Uttrakhand: 011-24362892 and 9968383478
Uttarakhand govt helpline: 0135-2716201, 2710925
And below here is a searchable database for people found during rescue efforts in Uttarakhand 2013 floods, for people found alive.
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