Published On: Mon, Feb 29th, 2016

Uttarakhand disaster management unit asks 2013 disaster survivors to share their memoirs

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Convinced that there are many touching tales of kindness of strangers and near-miraculous rescues, the Uttarakhand Disaster Management and Mitigation Centre (DMMC) in a unique initiative has asked witnesses and survivors of the 2013 flash floods in Uttarakhand to pen down their personal experiences of the natural disaster which claimed more than 5,000 lives.

The personal essays can be written in English or Hindi and could narrate stories of human sufferings, or be a pleasant or even humorous account of the tragedy. DMMC will document all such narratives and bring them in the public domain.

According to Piyoosh Rautela, executive director of DMMC, “The intention behind inviting memoirs from the 2013 Kedarnath tragedy is to know stories and perspectives of people who were affected by the disaster or were involved in the post-disaster rehabilitation process. I am sure there is a treasure of stories still untold. We want them to be known.”

Rautela added: “A person who lost a family member in the 2013 deluge would have a different perspective towards the whole tragedy, while police personnel, Army and NGO volunteers who conducted relief and rescue operations would have a totally different perspective regarding it.”

People can send their essays to the DMMC office before August 15, 2016.

“Authors of top three entries judged as most befitting in each category shall be honoured on Disaster Mitigation and Awareness Day on June 16,” said Rautela.

Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Doon, who was stuck in Rudraprayag for two days during the flash floods, told TOI, “I have a mixed bag of experiences in those two days and I would like to share them with other people by putting them to paper. The memory of those two days will remain with me as it taught me great lessons in humanity.”

DMMC officials are also keen on publishing a book on the experiences of the people during the 2013 tragedy provided they receive good content.

Torrential rainfall during the monsoon season of 2013 triggered flash floods in several parts of the state especially the Char Dham making it one of the deadliest natural disasters witnessed by Uttarakhand.

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