When Uttarakhand disaster brought out the best in them

Haridwar, July 1 (IANS) Many religious and social organisation rose to the occasion when disaster struck Uttarakhand, with one of them distributing thousands of food packets and even offering to conduct the last rites of those who died at Kedarnath.

As the news of the devastation and deluge started pouring in, many religious and social organizations came out to extend a helping hand to those anguished people looking for their loved ones.

From Yoga Guru Ramdev to All World Gayatri Pariwar (AWGP) to Nirmal Ashram — all extended help of their volunteers and their resources.

The All World Gayatri Pariwar (AWGP), whose sprawling complex, Shantikunj, is housing many of the rescued people, is being used as a relief camp by many states. It has announced to send a team to Kedarnath to conduct the last rites of those who have been buried alive.

At Rishikesh, many of these institutions are offering free food, water, medicines. And some are not charging money for those getting photostat copies of photographs of their dear ones.

The Gayatri Pariwar also distributed food packets. “Of the total 10,000 food packets that were air-dropped, most were sent by Shanti Kunj,” an official of Shantikunj told IANS.

The AWGP was established in 1971.

For the locals, the damage and devastation is only thing they are talking about.

The Haridwar ghats as well as the temples are empty.

The rains and landslides are god’s way of teaching mankind a lesson, they say.

“Rampant illegal construction on the banks of the river, corruption and looting the pilgrims have led to this. God was angry. It is his way. Otherwise, why would thousands of people who had come to pray at these shrines perish like this?,” Man Singh Upreti of Dehradun said.

“This is god’s way to teach people a lesson,” added the 70-year-old.

(Kavita Bajeli-Datt can be contacted at [email protected])

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