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SHOAIB AHMED | Issue Dated: September 5, 2010
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....UNTIL DISASTER STRUCK In the aftermath of the massive disaster in Leh, there is no place for complacence in the efforts to restore normalcy and sanity to the land that many escaped to looking for the same. Every helping hand will count.

While the immediate need is rescue and relief, the long term challenges are intimidating and growing by the hour. Speaking over the phone to TSI, Miss Shazia Kawos of the Leh-based Red Cross Society highlighted the rescue efforts and the challenges Leh-Ladakh faces. 3000 liters of fresh water is being pumped out every hour, she says, from two water purification units arranged for by Red Cross in Choglamsar. But do victims in remote villages, those most violently affected, have access to the basic amenities like water and shelter?

The answer is: not yet.

The main issue is therefore, shortage of manpower. The Indian Army and Air Force had been engaged immediately to penetrate the affected areas for aid and rescue, but even their numbers are falling short in the race against time.

As Miss Kawos points out, Red Cross and various other NGOs are involved in collecting and airlifting gumboots and kitchen sets from Delhi (special mention to the airlines for their contribution), but again the pressing challenge is dispatching them to the remotest areas.

Simultaneously, efforts are being made by the J&K administration and other organisations to identify and indemnify the victims. A number of help lines have been established to solely focus on tracking the missing and informing the families. With winters just around the corner, rescue and rehabilitation is further going to be an uphill task. Tents and camps will do little to protect from the extreme weather if there aren’t sufficient blankets and mattresses.

As citizen volunteers, there are many ways to contribute. Those living close to Leh could directly get in touch with Red Cross. Others could help with contributions of warm clothing. You could send your donations to Organisations like Give India and Oxfam India are accessible through their websites: & respectively. There are also the PM & CM relief funds to turn to.

Let us, in this hour of crisis, chip in for the sake of humanity.
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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017